Donald Trump’s biggest bet is on masculinity. It’s his calling card, his defining characteristic, his primary tool for re-election. His opponents showcase their alleged empathy. President Trump highlights his masculinity.
Masculinity is an aphrodisiac, a reason to fall in love.
Midwest people love football, a sport that rouses feelings of toughness, strength and power.
That’s why Wednesday’s announcement that the Big Ten would indeed have a 2020 season wasn’t just a win for college football fans.
It was a victory for Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, the President made sure to remind everyone that two weeks ago he called Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren to make the case for the conference to reverse its decision to cancel football season.
“This was completely dead in the water on August 31,” a Senior White House Administration Official said Wednesday afternoon on a teleconference with reporters. “That (phone) call was probably the most pivotal call in Big Ten football this year.”
Yes, the White House conducted a teleconference Wednesday to trumpet Trump’s role in bringing football back to the Midwest. It was the start of a victory lap for Trump, the President’s chance to do the Heisman pose in the end zone or dunk over the goal posts.
“After speaking with (President Trump) this morning, I can tell you that he’s honored; he’s humbled that he was able to make a difference in this,” said the unnamed Senior Administration Official. “The President is willing to tackle challenges as tough as Middle East peace, whether it’s Israel, UAE or Bahrain. Or actually getting the Ohio State Buckeyes or Michigan Wolverines to agree on something. This president is going to tackle whatever challenges there are and do anything he can to make American lives better.”
Sound a bit hokey and overstated? Perhaps.
But Trump doesn’t care.
He knows Dan Wolken, Christine Brennan and the rest of the woke sports media brigade will ridicule him for taking credit for the Big Ten’s return. He knows they’ll say the decision was more about new COVID-19 medical information or advancements in testing procedures.
But it doesn’t matter to Trump.
As long as he looks masculine — and not weak – he wins.
Almost certainly, Wednesday’s development will impact Trump’s approval rating in the Midwest. The Big Ten includes Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, three states that Trump narrowly won in the 2016 election.
Now, during one of the darkest times in recent American history, he’s helped bring back excitement and energy to those states when they needed it most.
Maybe Trump’s phone call to Warren played no role in the reversal. His critics can make that argument. But what about the empathy he showed frustrated Big Ten parents and athletes? Trump’s public involvement in the Big Ten negotiations surely inspired Ohio State parents and Nebraska athletes to keep fighting the Big Ten school presidents.
The anonymous Administration official bragged that White House representatives engaged in more than 300 phone calls with Big Ten administrators, players, parents and coaches.
When you add on the untold number of phone calls between President Trump and his representatives with Outkick founder Clay Travis, well, it’s impossible to say the President’s engagement played no role.
Today is a great day for Trump and football fans. And a bad day for the Coronabros.