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All That and a Bag of Mail

Rejoice, it’s Friday and we have a full weekend of football on the schedule for Saturday and Sunday.

And late last night, 2020 got even wilder than it has already been with the president and the first lady testing positive for covid. I opened my radio show with it this morning, and many of you have questions about the impact below.

But as we roll into the weekend, I want to say thank you for all your support this September. We continued to roll up record numbers for Outkick as we roll into football season, and I thank all of you for that support. With that in mind, the best way you can support us at Outkick is by signing up for the Outkick VIP. You can do that here.

Okay, here we go with the mailbag:

Mark writes:

“Does having the virus help or hurt Trump’s election chances?”

First, I wish the president, the first lady and Hope Hicks well in recovering from the virus. Early reports are they all seem to have mild cases so hopefully that remains the case, and they recover fairly quickly like most people who have contracted the virus have.

Second, I don’t think there’s any doubt that it hurts Trump’s election chances. Primarily because it guarantees the coronavirus is the most prominent story between now and Election Day. Joe Biden’s entire campaign really boils down to the coronavirus. He’s essentially argued Trump has mismanaged the coronavirus and made that the lynchpin of his campaign. So even though deaths are declining substantially and hospitalizations and serious infections have been declining for months now, the fear porn in the media will be dialed up in a major way with Trump’s positive test.

That’s why my biggest concern about a Biden presidency is that he would take over in late January and try to implement new lockdowns, which would absolutely destroy the economy.

I’ve been saying for months now that the lockdowns of schools and businesses are a bigger threat to the nation than the virus is, and I continue to believe that. Given the way Biden is campaigning on coronavirus fear porn, I’m terrified he’ll bring back out Dr. Fauci for daily press briefings and try and shut us down again.

That would be an absolute disaster.

My hope is there are enough Republican governors to fight this from happening and enough people who would just refuse to lockdown again because the data is pretty clear that the lockdowns have made absolutely no sense. I also believe that if Biden wins, suddenly the media’s focus on coronavirus will decline substantially because I really do believe much of the media coverage has been about getting Trump as much as it has actually been about the virus.

Given that the coronavirus is likely to be the top story for the next couple of weeks — and probably the rest of the election cycle — I just don’t see how Trump having the virus himself allows him to pivot away from this storyline. Trump doesn’t do empathy very well, at least publicly, so I don’t think there’s going to be an outpouring of sympathy for him from voters. And even if there were, I’m not sure he’d be able to manage that outpouring in an effective way.

Trump needs this election to be about the economy and about him having a better opportunity to return the nation to economic strength than Biden. I think his argument that we had the best economy in the history of the world and that with a vaccine arriving soon, he’s best positioned to return us to that economy, is a good one. But it becomes more difficult to make when he’s under quarantine for the virus.

The most interesting result from the election polls I’ve seen, assuming they are accurate, is if Biden wins, it’s not going to be because of his appeal to black or Hispanic voters or even young people. It’s going to be because he’s doing much better with older white voters than Hillary did.

That is, while the media is obsessed with the Trump racism boogeyman, if Biden wins this election, he’s going to do it with increased support among old white people, Trump’s base, who are supposed to be the most racist people in the country. I don’t know how much attention this will get in the post-election data dump, but it’s pretty incredible. Older people, as a group, have bought into the media’s fear porn and have swung against Trump based on the coronavirus.

I think Trump getting the coronavirus, combined with the media fear porn that will reinforce this story ad nauseum, will buttress senior citizen fears and help Joe Biden with these voters.

Furthermore, this allows Biden to effectively end his campaign and return to his house, limiting the potential for him to create any substantial gaffes on the campaign trail. It may well knock at least one of the debates off the calendar and allow Biden to appear magnanimous by wishing the president and the first lady a full recovery.

I just don’t see any way at all that this helps the president in the election.

It’s a net benefit for Biden.

I mean, I suppose you could say that the president could have a very mild case and recover rapidly without needing any significant medical treatment and that he could serve as definitive proof of how most people, even if they get the virus, are perfectly fine even if they are over seventy. But I just don’t see that story playing very well with these older voters, many of whom are already overtaken by fear of the virus.

The best possible result for Trump, honestly, would probably be Democrats celebrating the fact he got the coronavirus and turning off voters with their glee over someone else’s positive test, but I don’t think most Democrats, although some will be for sure, are dumb enough to make that mistake.

Which is why I think Trump testing positive for the coronavirus makes Biden’s election more likely than it was beforehand.

(Note: having said all of this, didn’t Trump seem like way more of an underdog four years ago when the grab her by the pussy audio came out? So who knows what in the world will end up happening before all is said and done here.)

Jason writes:

“Your prediction of where this country will be on Jan. 20, 2021?”

First, no matter who gets elected in 2020, the battle for 2024 will start the moment an election winner is declared. If Trump wins, he’s term limited out. If Biden wins, he’s not going to run for reelection, I don’t believe, at 82 years old.

So the battle for 2024 will arguably overtake much of the actual political impacts on the ground itself pretty quickly.

And 2024 will be an absolute battle with probably fifty or so people legitimately throwing their hats into the ring for the election.

Given the fact that Joe Biden is now a substantial favorite to be elected, I still believe the most significant answer to come out of the presidential debates was Biden’s refusal to say whether he’s in favor of adding two supreme court justices and ending the filibuster in the Senate.

Since there’s a very good chance the Democrats either win a majority or have a tie-breaking vote in a 50-50 Senate, this is by far the most important issue at stake in this election right now.

The fact that the media is allowing Biden to dodge even giving an answer on this issue is wild to me. It’s by far the most significant issue at play with his election. Say what you will about Trump’s response on the white supremacy issue, but he’s condemned white supremacy over and over again during the past four years. Yet the media has been obsessed with that answer coming out of the debate.

How is no one following up with Joe Biden on his refusal to answer whether he’s in favor of packing the court and ending the filibuster? Because if the Democrats attempt to pack the court by adding two or four justices, then the Republicans will eventually return serve when they have the presidency and the Senate again, and we’ll be on a constant political seesaw where the parties take turns returning fire at each other to pack the court back and forth.

It’s just an awful decision to try and pack the court, and I suspect Biden, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee for years and years, knows this.

The public agrees with me pretty overwhelmingly on this issue, and I suspect that’s why Biden is trying to stay quiet. Agree or disagree with the president nominating Amy Coney Barrett, but at least you know exactly where Trump stands on the Supreme Court. We have no real idea what Biden will do on this issue, and his refusal to answer should have been the number one story coming out of the debate.

The most intriguing aspect of a Biden presidency, honestly, wouldn’t be Biden’s disagreements with Republicans. We already know what those are. It would be whether Biden is willing to stand up to the radical left elements of his party.

Given the fact that he may well only be a one term president without any ability to run for reelection, there’s no reason he shouldn’t do exactly what he thinks is best for the country. What’s his fear? That Democrats are going to impeach him?

That’s why if Biden wins, my hope is that by virtue of not needing to seek reelection, he could avoid many of these cultural battles and just seek a return to moderate normalcy in the presidency.

The fear, of course, is that Biden would have no real power and would be immediately overtaken by the radical elements of the Democratic party, many of whom would be angling to run in 2024. Before long, the Senate Democrats would battle to be the most woke, voting to rename Washington, D.C., giving Senate seats to Guam, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and putting four new justices on the Supreme Court.

I just don’t know if Biden will be willing or able to stand up to the far left wing elements of his own party.

I hope he would, but I have my doubts.

And that’s, by the way, assuming he stays healthy. He’s going to be 78 on Inauguration Day. Until there’s a reliable vaccine, I think Biden’s likely to pretty much stay in the White House and not go anywhere. He may spend most of his first year as president on the White House grounds.

Ryan writes:

“How much backlash did you get from your wife for pulling your son out of school for the Braves game? And will it happen again if the Braves go deeper into the postseason?”

My wife didn’t agree with my Wednesday decision to take my son out of school for the Braves playoff game, but she didn’t complain about it very much. She did, however, ask me what happens now if the Braves have day games during the NLDS. She wanted to know how many more times I’m planning to take him out of school early.

And I didn’t have a good answer for that.

After the Braves won Game 1, I set the DVR for my son for Game 2. (I told him if the Braves lost Game 2, I’d take him out to watch the deciding Game 3, but fortunately we didn’t have to cross that bridge.)

But now the precedent is set. The Braves might lose if I don’t take my son out of school to watch the games. I don’t want that bad sports karma hanging over us.

I can’t change anything now.

Plus, let’s be honest, if your kid can’t handle missing a few hours of fourth grade instruction, you’re probably screwed anyway when he becomes an adult. Might as well enjoy things while he’s still a kid.

#chopon

Lots of you, what’s your take on the Titans’ positive covid tests:

First, it was inevitable that NFL teams were going to have positive tests. If anything, it’s actually pretty incredible how few positive tests the league has had despite the fact that a quarter of the regular season is going to be complete for almost everyone in the league come this weekend.

As I write this on Friday morning, so far the positive appears to be that the players who have tested positive for the Titans are all replaceable players. That is, they aren’t yet absolutely integral to a game or a game plan. Again, that might change, and you’d like to see the slow drip of player positives come to a close. But so far, the positive is none of these guys have had any significant symptoms at all.

Provided the positive tests end by this weekend, you can even argue the timing of this bye week isn’t awful. The Titans wouldn’t have had AJ Brown and maybe Taylor Lewan against the Steelers. Now they would theoretically have both guys back for the game in a few weeks.

And it might not matter from a scheduling perspective, provided they can play the Bills next weekend, instead of playing three straight home games against the Steelers, Bills and Texans and then having a bye. Their new schedule would be bye, Bills, Texans, Steelers, which isn’t that much different in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve also been told that the NFL could delay the playoffs and add a few weeks to the back end of the season, if necessary, to ensure all the games are played this year. Clearly, the league would hope not to need to do that, but it’s at least a possibility if other positive results on teams emerge.

Distant writes:

“Rank these SEC games this weekend. Which are you looking forward to most?

South Carolina at Florida
Mizzou at Tennessee
Texas A&M at Alabama
Ole Miss at Kentucky
Auburn at Georgia
Arkansas at Mississippi State
LSU at Vandy”

In order of overall expected game quality:

1. Auburn at Georgia
2. Texas A&M at Alabama
3. South Carolina at Florida
4. Ole Miss at Kentucky
5. Mizzou at Tennessee
6. LSU at Vandy
7. Arkansas at Mississippi State

I’m a Tennessee fan so I’m always most excited to watch my favorite team play, but the above is purely an SEC quality of game ranking.

And I’m just excited that the SEC is slated to, furiously knock on wood, play a second straight week of full conference action.

Heck, 20% of the regular season will be complete come Saturday night.

Hope y’all have great weekends, and thanks for supporting Outkick.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is an author, radio show host, lawyer, TV analyst, and the founder of OutKick (formerly known as Outkick the Coverage).
Read More about Clay >>

9 Comments

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  1. Love your column as always Clay. I disagree regarding Trump and Covid. If he quickly recovers and is back in the spotlight Monday morning, not only will he be correct in his overall message from Day 1 regarding Covid, which has basically been your message: “If you don’t have any pre-existing conditions, and you are in relatively good health, you will be fine if you contract the virus.”

    This will be another arrow in the quiver. Everyone knows the media is insane in their pursuit of anything negative against the President. This will strike down questions about his personal health, his assessment of Covid, as well as his desire to do everything he can to keep America great, which is why he works his ass off the way he does.

    He’ll see horrible coverage for 72 hours, but wait for Monday. Short term pain for long term gain. And relatively healthy seniors will be relieved.

    Have a great weekend! Enjoy the SEC slate!

  2. I also think Trump has a good chance to “small deal” COVID19 by bouncing back very quickly.

    But IF Biden wins the election, I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the relative return of peace in our Country. Not saying that’s necessarily a good thing, it will be like crying uncle to the school yard bully, but it will inevitably be what happens. With Trump out of office the Liberal Power brokers will call off their attack dogs. They’ll ensure the narrative is “Biden returns peace and stability to America, heroically defeats racism.”

    • And the leftists will then turn to more peaceful but still insidious methods of leaning on the establishment dems to adopt their agenda, and Biden will be nothing more than a turnstile against a far-left lurch by our government. Bad news if you’re not a radical.

  3. Clay:

    Love your articles. I have to disagree with part of one of your answers.

    “Because if the Democrats attempt to pack the court by adding two or four justices, then the Republicans will eventually return serve when they have the presidency and the Senate again”

    If Biden wins and the Dems control the House and Senate, I believe they will take any action necessary to turn the US into one party rule like exists in California. I don’t think the Republicans will ever win the Presidency and Senate again due to all of the changes that will be made (New Democratic states and millions of new voters, i.e. 16 year old voters and illegal aliens granted citizenship) No new legislation passed by the Dems will ever be deemed unconstitutional because of the new “judges” .

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