NEWS AND OPINION:
Some partisan analysts pine for President Trump to conveniently resign from office as a result of the impeachment proceedings now underway. After all, the learned folks reason, that is what President Richard M. Nixon did on Aug. 8, 1974, offering a 16-minute resignation speech on live TV from the Oval Office.
Nixon chose to quote from a speech President Theodore Roosevelt had made over six decades before.
“Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed,” Nixon said that evening before an estimated audience of 125 million. “But always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, ‘whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.’”
The next day, Nixon waved, boarded a helicopter and left the nation’s capital.
Drama and angst aside, do voters in this day and age think Mr. Trump will resign from office as well? No.
Eight-out-of-10 voters — 79% — say the president is either “not very likely” or “not likely at all” to resign as a result of the impeachment process according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll. Naturally, 91% of Republicans agree with this. See a more detailed breakdown of the findings in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
‘A DAY OF SHAME’
The impeachment hearings have drawn a candid judgment.
“It’s a day of shame for America. The media is calling the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry ‘historic;’ and it is — historically shameful. That our politicians would bring this kind of harm to our country over a phone call, with the world watching, is unbelievable,” writes evangelist Franklin Graham in a public message shared through social media.
“As Christians, as those who follow and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, let us pray throughout the day and all of these proceedings. Pray for our nation, pray for our leaders, and pray for President Donald J. Trump,” Mr. Graham says.
IMPEACHMENT: THE MEDIA’S VERSION
Even impeachment hearings are subject to interpretation. A few headlines of note from the last 24 hours:
“Trump impeachment hearings will echo through the ages” (CNN); “How schools are using the Trump impeachment inquiry as a teachable moment” (NPR); “Drag queen sashays into Trump impeachment hearings” (NBC News); “Conservative group unveils $2 million ad campaign against Trump impeachment” (The Hill); “Snoozefest: Eric Trump tweets that impeachment hearing is horribly boring” (USA Today); “GOP senators explain why they aren’t watching the hearings” (MSNBC); “10 reasons why this impeachment inquiry is really a coup” (The New York Post); and “New York Times launches Trump impeachment podcast” (Hollywood Reporter).
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
There is complex political drama everywhere, even in Bossier City, Louisiana, site of President Trump‘s campaign rally Thursday. But wait. Local first-responders were originally forbidden to attend this event, and here’s how it all went down, according to the Shreveport Times.
“Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton asked for an opinion from the state’s fire, police and civil service state examiner Adrienne Bordelon,” the news organization said. “It could be perceived as employees supporting a particular candidate, Wolverton said. Several firefighters and police officers reached out to elected officials.”
One of those elected officials was Rep. Mike Johnson, Louisiana Republican.
“I have been contacted by many, many firefighters and police officers who want to attend the Trump rally in their individual capacities, but were warned they cannot — even in plain clothes. State Reps. Alan Seabaugh, Dodie Horton and I have talked this over with our good friend Attorney General Jeff Landry, and he is issuing an Attorney General’s opinion today to affirm the constitutional rights of all our civil servants,” the very civil Mr. Johnson said in a statement.
After reviewing a Louisiana statue governing political activities for fire, police and civil service employees, Mr. Landry concluded the rally was not “a prohibited political activity.”
Meanwhile, the event itself — a boost for GOP gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone — portends to be a doozy. The local arena holds 14,200 fans and it has been preparing for the event for two weeks.
“According to organizers, people from across the nation will be at the rally, and Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker says it will bring a positive economic impact to the city,” reports KTBS, the local ABC affiliate.
“Many of our hotels are already full and of course they will dine in our restaurants so there is definitely an economic impact,” Mr. Walker observed.
Fox News remains the most-watched cable network of all throughout the day for the 44th consecutive week according to Nielsen. As it has done for almost 18 years in a row, Fox News is also the No. 1 cable news network, drawing 2.7 million prime time viewers compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 915,000 for CNN. Sean Hannity remains the ratings heavyweight; his prime-time show drew an average of 3.7 million nightly viewers last week.
POLL DU JOUR
• 63% of U.S. voters say it is “not likely at all” that President Trump will resign as a result of the impeachment proceedings; 80% of Republicans, 59% of independents and 52% of Democrats agree.
• 16% of voters overall say it is “not very likely” Mr. Trump will resign; 11% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.
• 11% of voters overall are unsure or don’t know if he would resign; 6% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree.
• 7% of voters overall say it is “somewhat likely” Mr. Trump would resign; 3% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.
• 3% of voters overall say it is “very likely” Mr. Trump would resign; 1% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.
Source: A POLITICO / MORNING CONSULT poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters conducted NOV. 8-10.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.