NEWS AND OPINION:
Americans are not interested in any more Democratic investigations of President Trump and his administration. Such investigations, in fact, rank last as a priority on a wish-list of issues for President-elect Joseph R. Biden to address in the very near future. So says a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll which asked respondents to rank the importance of the issues that will confront the Biden White House in the coming months.
An expensive, unproductive and unwarranted probe of Mr. Trump’s activities is not one of them — suggesting that Americans have a case of impeachment fatigue.
The poll found the most important priority of all was controlling COVID-19, cited by 44%, followed by job creation and preservation, cited by 26%. Improving access to health care was deemed most important by 12%, addressing climate change by 5%. Another 7% were undecided about the issue.
Just 2% said that investigating the president should be at the top of the list and a top priority.
The survey also found that 7% were undecided and 3% refused to answer. The poll of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted Dec. 6-20 and released Friday.
TRUMP’S ON MESSAGE TO THE FINAL CURTAIN
As the old 1938 tune “September Song” once put it, “The days dwindle down to a precious few” — referring to the relentless passage of time, of course.
A “precious few” is certainly the case for President Trump, who has about three weeks left in the White House. He continues to stand fast on his claims of a fraudulent election however, as do his close allies.
Meanwhile, the president is also staying on the same message he brought with him in the earliest of days. Mr. Trump recently vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act and slammed the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and federal spending act to a chorus of criticism from partisan rivals and the hostile press. Some claim his attacks are poor judgment and ineffective policy. One analyst says that this is Mr. Trump doing what he promised to do from the beginning
“Whether the president is right on the policy is an open debate, but the messaging is on brand,” writes Tristan Justice, who covers politics and campaigns for The Federalist.
The “brand” in this case, is the Trump brand.
“Vetoing the annual defense spending bill and trashing Congress for being too generous to foreign countries and not generous enough to the struggling taxpayers footing the bill, Trump is leaving office on the same note he entered it: decrying the Washington establishment on behalf of the working American, in true Trump form. Combined with a wave of 20 Christmas pardons with less than a month to go in his presidency,” Mr. Justice says.
“Trump is going out proving that he meant it when claiming since his political entrance in 2015 he has no use for the beltway elites,” he concludes.
THE HANDSHAKE FALLS VICTIM TO COVID-19
Let us recall that the traditional handshake is a very old practice which assorted historians say was a way for two people to indicate that they were not carrying concealed weapons in ancient Greece, and again started in medieval times. It has since become a polite custom and a symbolic way to close deals, mend differences and provide the best photo-op of all for politicians and leaders around the world.
But not all of them.
“George Washington didn’t like shaking hands with his guests, preferring instead to bow. Thomas Jefferson was the first American politician to bring the handshake to the White House proper, using it to take the office slightly down to earth. Since then, American politicians have made the handshake a campaign staple,” notes a history of the “political handshake” published in 2016 by Atlas Obscura, a news organization based in Brooklyn.
But alas: The COVID-19 pandemic has intruded on this longstanding practice.
“Wave goodbye to handshakes,” advises a new survey conducted by the Harris Poll for Fast Company, a business publication.
“Overall, 54% agreed with the statement, ‘I would be happy to never shake someone’s hand again’ and 54% said they would only do so if required in a formal or professional setting, leaving plenty of room for the socially distant elbow bump to grow,” the poll analysis reported.
Another 30% of respondents said they now prefer to shake hands “less often” and 26% said they don’t want to handshake at all.
See more in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
RUDY’S NOT DONE YET
The Former New York City mayor and current attorney to President Trump continues to produce a frequent video commentary about the state of politics and the nation titled “Common Sense.” Indeed, Rudolph W. Giuliani is vocal and lucid about such things in these productions — a quality not acknowledged by his many media critics. This week, Mr. Giuliani hammers on the Jan. 5 Georgia runoff elections that will determine the leadership of the Senate.
“Who honestly was elected president of the United States?” he asks, combing through evidence that he suggests indicate fraud in the elections in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
There were 500,000 votes in Pennsylvania, for example, that were “made up” or “phony” Mr. Giuliani says.
“So starting after Christmas, this is really going to blow up,” he predicts — advising that the nation was in for a “dramatic” January.
“The evidence that all these crooked television networks, newspapers, big tech and the leadership of the Democratic Party have been giving you is false. And you’re going to find that out all at once. It’s going to be very shocking to the country,” he adds.
Find Mr. Giuliani’s videos and frequent podcasts at RudygiulianiCS.com.
POLL DU JOUR
• 66% of Americans say they would continue to wear a mask in public during the pandemic, and “more often” after the pandemic ends.
• 54% of U.S. adults would be happy to “never shake someone’s hand again” after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
• 48% would like to use telemedicine more often after the pandemic ends.
• 27% say they would prefer to “never” travel for business again.
• 25% would like to return to a physical office as their workplace.
Source: A Harris/Fast Company poll of 1,015 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 18-21.
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