NEWS AND OPINION:
The first presidential debate seems like it was in another century. It took place only 44 days ago, give or take a few hours. The first match between President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden was loud, restless and cranky. But Mr. Biden did promise to do one thing during the event which is of interest at this very moment.
“Will you urge your supporters to stay calm while the vote is counted, and will you pledge not to declare victory until the election is independently certified?” moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the Democratic nominee.
“Yes,” Mr. Biden replied.
“And here’s the deal. We’ll count the ballots. As you pointed out, some of these ballots in some states can’t even be opened until Election Day, and if there’s thousands of ballots, it’s going to take time to do it,” he continued.
No, really. Mr. Biden vowed to count those pesky ballots.
“Biden, however, has done nothing of the sort, as he has since carried on as if he is president-elect, promising that ‘we’re going to get right to work,’ as he seemingly ignores the fact that the 2020 presidential election has not yet been independently certified,” counters eagle-eyed Breitbart News analyst Alana Mastrangelo — who unearthed this ancient but pivotal exchange between Mr. Wallace and Mr. Biden.
In the meantime, Mr. Trump is monitoring the hostile tag team of liberal news media, social media corporations and the Democratic Party, which are hurrying Mr. Biden toward the White House as fast as they can.
“The media is working overtime with the Democrats to convince you that voter fraud didn’t happen in the election,” Mr. Trump said in a public outreach released Wednesday — citing headlines from three news organizations, two of which focused on Attorney General William Barr.
“Barr authorizes prosecutors to investigate voter fraud, despite lack of evidence,” said CNN.
“Barr OKs investigations of voting irregularities despite lack of evidence of massive fraud,” echoed USA Today.
TRUST IN THE ELECTION ‘SYSTEM’
So how do we feel about our elections these days? Uh, not very good.
A mere 29% of registered U.S. voters trust the U.S. election system “a lot”; 13% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 44% of Democrats agree.
The finding is from a new Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,987 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 6-9. Please consult more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
A CASE OF INAUGURATION PHOBIA
The close-knit community of those who are planning Joseph R. Biden‘s possible inauguration festivities are getting nervous.
“Biden world fears Trump will bring ‘weird [expletive]’ to their inauguration,” advises Sam Stein, political editor for The Daily Beast.
There is, apparently, a “no riffraff” edict among the planners who dread the idea of a bodacious MAGA rally on the National Mall when — and if — Mr. Biden takes the oath of office.
“Biden events in the COVID era have been sparse and distant by design. But if his supporters do not to come to the inauguration, planners worry Trump fans will fill the void,” Mr. Stein explains.
That remains to be seen. When President Trump took office, however, some 60 Democratic members of the House opted to boycott the inaugural events, some accusing Mr. Trump of trying to damage “democratic institutions,” among other things.
“The problem for Democrats is that a highly-publicized spectacle of resistance might contribute to an erosion of democratic norms in its own right if it disrupts the peaceful transition of power from one president to the next,” The Atlantic noted on Jan. 19, 2017, just 24 hours before Mr. Trump took office.
“The different reasons some Democrats have for not attending inauguration, and the fact that high-profile party leaders are not taking part in the boycott, also highlight the party’s struggle to craft a unified opposition,” the magazine advised.
MILITARY VETS IN THE NEWSROOM
There is some intriguing news from the Florida-based Knight Foundation — which has supported multiple large scale and often every helpful news media projects in recent years. The foundation has offered $250,000 in new support for Military Veterans in Journalism, a professional organization that aspires to put more veterans in newsrooms.
“Though 7% of Americans are military vets, the same group makes up only 2% of journalists. As American news leaders continue to push for newsrooms that reflect the communities they serve, it’s absolutely critical we take America’s veterans into account,” the foundation said, noting that the money will go to hire staffers and grant six-month fellowships for vets in newsrooms.
ROMNEY IN THE BIDEN CABINET?
Would Sen. Mitt Romney serve as a Cabinet member in a Biden presidency? Fans of President Trump have noted with some irritation that the Utah Republican — who voted to impeach the president — issued a congratulatory statement Saturday to “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.”
Mr. Romney, however, was asked about the possibility that he would join Mr. Biden, if his “presumptive” status changed and he should reach the White House. The lawmaker’s reply was straightforward.
“The answer is no. I have not been approached, nor will I be approached. I’m not going to be part of the Biden administration,” Mr. Romney said.
POLL DU JOUR
• 29% of registered U.S. voters trust the U.S. election system “a lot”; 13% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 44% of Democrats agree.
• 28% overall trust the system “some”; 21% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 34% of Democrats agree.
• 18% overall distrust the system “some”; 24% of Republicans, 18% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.
• 22% overall distrust the system “a lot”; 39% of Republicans, 24% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.
• 4% overall “don’t know”; 3% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,987 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 6-9.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.