Pandemic may be killing Biden's bid
"This is the question that is going to dominate the election: How did you perform in the great crisis?"
So says GOP Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma in today's New York Times.
GOP National Committeeman Henry Barbour of Mississippi calls the crisis "a defining moment... The more (Trump) reassures Americans, gives them the facts and delivers results, the harder it will be for Joe Biden."
Indeed, it is not a stretch to say Trump's presidency will stand or fall on the resolution of the coronavirus crisis and how Trump is perceived as having led us in that battle. Recent polls appear to confirm that.
Though daily baited by a hostile media for being late to recognize the severity of the crisis, in one Gallup poll a week ago, Trump was at 49% approval, the apogee of his presidency, with 60% of the nation awarding him high marks for his handling of the pandemic.
What was the public's assessment of how Trump's antagonists in the media have performed in America's great medical crisis?
Of 10 institutions, with hospitals first, at 88% approval, the media came in dead last, the only institution whose disapproval, at 55%, exceeded the number of Americans with a favorable opinion of their performance.
The media are paying a price in lost reputation with the nation they claim to represent by reassuming the role of "adversary press" in a social crisis where, whatever one's view of Donald Trump, the country wants the president to succeed.
If Biden begins to mimic a hostile media, baiting Trump at every turn, pointing out conflicts in his views, Joe will invite the same fate the media seem to have brought upon themselves.
Since that Gallup poll, Trump has been seen daily by millions in the role of commander in chief. He speaks from the podium in the White House briefing room or the Rose Garden just outside the Oval Office. He is invariably flanked by respected leaders in medicine, science, business and economics. All appear as Trump allies, and Trump treats them as his field commanders in the war on the virus.