Trump vs Biden: First it was wild–then came COVID-19

first_imgFour months ago the narratives of the 2020 election seemed clear.Touting record low unemployment and solid GDP growth, Trump promised four more years of a presidency molded on his persona of the hard-nosed businessman.Biden, milking nostalgia for the now seemingly calm years of his vice presidency under Barack Obama, vowed to end the scandals and division of Trump’s reality show-style administration and restore “the soul of America.”Biden, 77, led in polls, but many believed that Trump, 73, would seize the upper hand on November 3. President Donald Trump’s reelection battle against Joe Biden was always going to be wild — and then came the coronavirus, killing nearly 90,000 Americans, scuttling the economy and throwing the race into surreal confusion.Less than six months before election day, neither candidate can campaign normally, voters wonder whether they’ll be safe, and Trump suddenly faces what amounts to a referendum on his handling of a once-in-a-century crisis.”We really don’t know how this is going to play out,” politics professor Christopher Arterton at George Washington University told AFP. The last incumbent to lose reelection was George Bush in 1992 and, historically, presidents presiding over strong economies are almost invulnerable.Exuding macho self-confidence, Trump toured the country for political rallies with his adoring right-wing base, and delivered a seductively simple message: aggressive nationalism abroad, jobs at home.How, Trump openly wondered at his rallies, could the man he brutally insults as “Sleepy Joe” even compete?Then the coronavirus tore up the script.Trump wanted America praising his triumphs. Instead, his fate rests on how people will judge his handling of a disaster.Referendum election”This election will be primarily a referendum on President Trump,” said Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University renowned for his accurate predictions of previous contests.The COVID-19 crisis poses a test of leadership at least as high-stakes as the 9/11 attacks in 2001 or the massive 2008 recession.And Trump thinks he’s more than passed.”I’d rate it at 10,” he responded when asked once to grade his performance.But many don’t agree.They don’t like his divisive political style, his only rare demonstrations of empathy, and the haphazard marshalling of federal resources on testing and treatment.According to the latest CBS poll, 57 percent of Americans think Trump has done a “bad job.” In March the number was 47 percent.This might seem a golden opportunity for Biden. Instead, like millions of Americans, he has been locked down at home.Although Trump has had to give up his beloved rallies, he still gets out occasionally on Air Force One and frequently dominates evening news broadcasts from the White House.Biden, by contrast, has gone no further than his Delaware home’s garden, while relying on amateurish video platforms to communicate.Yet ironically, Trump’s massive advantage may be working partly in Biden’s favor. Yes, Trump is in the spotlight, but what he does there enrages half the country.”It has exposed all his flaws that were apparent throughout his presidency, but are much more immediate now in the lives of Americans,” Biden spokesman Michael Gwin said.In other words, Biden doesn’t have to lift a finger.”There is an old saying,” Lichtman noted: “‘Never interrupt an opponent when he is making a mistake.'”Wild cardsMost days Biden rips the president on Twitter, as he did Thursday, saying Trump “failed the American people on every single front.”But Gwin said the Democrat is wary of trying to out-attack the attacker-in-chief. “We need to present a better alternative.” While the latest polls show Biden still ahead nationally, US presidential elections are decided by electoral college votes, meaning the result will likely come down to a handful of swing states like Florida and Wisconsin.Polling there is tighter and Trump could retain the presidency even while winning fewer votes nationally than Biden — as happened in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.And just one of a half dozen wild cards could make the difference.- Will economic recovery start in the third quarter, as Trump predicts, allowing him to sell a powerful message of renewal?- Will there be a foreign policy drama, perhaps a showdown over North Korea’s nuclear arsenal or conflict with Iran?- What role will Russia play after sowing discord and misinformation in 2016?- Will tension with China, which Trump is working overtime to make the coronavirus bogeyman, trigger a devastating new trade war?But the biggest wild card, almost certainly, will be Trump himself. How far will he go in a last-ditch fight?Already last year the Republican was impeached, though not convicted, in Congress for abusing his office to try and whip up a scandal around Biden in Ukraine.Now he’s pushing a new conspiracy theory, claiming the existence of an “Obamagate” plot involving Biden to bring down his presidency.In this atmosphere, six months will be an eternity. Ultimately, Arterton said everything still hangs on one simple question: do more people adore or loathe this ultra-polarizing president?”Is Donald Trump going to be so odious to a number of moderates…, independent voters and Democrats to drive turnout on the Democratic side as much as he’s capable of driving turnout on the Republican side?”Topics :last_img read more

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CT airport upgrades near completion

first_img18 February 2010Upgrades at Cape Town International Airport have edged closer to completion with the opening of the 3rd and 4th floor of a new parkade as well as the link between the international arrivals terminal and the new central terminal building (CTB).The 3rd and 4th floor of Parkade 1 makes available an additional 1 600 parking bays, and the entire parkade is earmarked to be complete in March 2010 with 4 000 parking bays in total.The international and domestic open shaded parking will be separated and be known as open shade parking 1 and open shade parking 2.“The infrastructure [at the airport] is rapidly coming on stream; besides the additional parking floors being made available to the public, the link between the international terminal and the central terminal building is now open,” Cape Town International Airport communications manager Deidre Hendricks said in a statement last week.“All international passengers arriving at the airport can now access the new terminal and all its amenities.”Central terminal buildingThe link between the international terminal and the central terminal building routes airport users to the ground floor of the CTB, allowing them access to more retail and restaurant options.It also allows for access to the transport plaza and the central car rental facility, both scheduled to be opened by the end of March.As part of the final plan for the airport, the open shaded parking will be separated as of 10 February 2010; there will be two entrances to the open shaded parking, one close to Parkade 1 and the other at the far end of Parkade 2 near the existing car rental area.Soon to be completed are the southern facing subway, the link between Domestic Arrivals and the CTB, the completed Parkade 1 and the fully upgraded road network.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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India’s golden shooting spree

first_imgOmkar, Vijay bag gold; Gagan and Imran join the party too It appears India’s record of 16 shooting gold at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games will obliterated soon. On Friday, Omkar Singh and Vijay Kumar clinched gold in 10m air pistol and 25m rapid fire pistol events respectively. This was Omkar’s third gold of the Delhi games; for Vijay, it was his second.Another gold came through the men’s 50m rifle 3 position pair of Gagan Narang and Imran Hassan Khan. In the men’s trap pairs, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mansher Singh combined to shoot an unprecedented 197 birds, only for Australia to pip them to the gold by one bird.Add to this a bronze won by Gurpreet Singh in rapid fire, and India’s tally after Day 4 of the nine- day shooting event stands at 10 gold, seven silver and a bronze.Narang, who is targeting six gold medals, won his third in as many events, thanks to an outstanding 397/ 400 in the prone round. He then shot identical 385s in the standing and kneeling rounds, while Khan shot 395, 381 and 382 to help India break the 16- year- old Games record of 2,300 points with 2,325.In the meantime, Vijay had broken his own record of 581 by shooting 583 in qualification for rapid fire. Gurpreet shot 569 to lie third, heading into the final. Vijay then shot an excellent 204.5 to beat his final record from Melbourne as well, setting 787.5 as the new benchmark.Despite one off- target shot, Malaysia’s Amir Hasan held on for silver, ahead of a surging Gurpreet.advertisementNavy’s Omkar equalled Samaresh Jung’s qualification record of 584 in 10m air pistol to be four points clear of Singapore’s Bin Gai and then shot 97.8 in the final to finish with three gold and a silver in his four events. Gurpreet finished fifth.There was disappointment for India in women’s trap pairs as they could only finish fifth. Australia won the gold, England got the silver and Canada took bronze.But the real battle of the day was in the men’s trap pairs where Australia’s Michael Diamond and Adam Vella, touted as the best trap team in the world, took on India’s vastly experienced Manavjit and Mansher.Mansher shot a brilliant 99 while Manavjit, who had shot 23 in his first round, went perfect over the next three series to finish with 98 and help India get to 197, a Games record.Vella also finished with 98, but two- time Olympic champion Diamond made it a perfect 100/ 100 to help Australia edge ahead.After the match, Mansher paid rich tribute to Diamond’s performance.”It had to be someone like Michael to beat us because nobody else in the world manages to do what he does regularly. This is what happens in shooting – you do so well and yet lose because somebody else has had a stellar day,” Mansher told Mail Today. The shooter, backed by the National Sports Development Fund, defended his teammate Manavjit, saying his was no mean score either.”Yes he did shoot 23 in the first round but then again, he shot 75 straight thereafter. It was a heavy load to carry and he did magnificently,” Mansher said.last_img read more

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Mighty Sports jumps right into action in Dubai tilt

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Philippine representatives to the 10-team tournament in the diverse metropolis will face American University in Dubai in the Group A matches on Friday 7 pm (11 pm in Manila), a team that Mighty knows little to nothing about.“We barely have any scouting report on who we will be facing right on the opening day but I am optimistic that we are more than ready to do well for our kababayans here proud,” said Mighty Sports owner Alex Wongchuking ahead of their game at Shabab Al Ahli.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMighty Sports is eyeing a better showing this time after finishing with a sorry 1-7 record in its tournament debut in 2017, and a lot of pressure will be put on the shoulders of two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom and Barangay Ginebra mainstay Justin Brownlee.Chinese Basketball Association Randolf Morris, who also played in the NBA with New York and Atlanta, is expected to patrol the team’s interior. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic help Mavericks rout Knicks at Madison Square Garden Head coach Charles Tiu said he expects his team to go through the gauntlet in the tournament and especially in Group A wher they will face UAE’s national team.“I am expecting nothing less than a tough grind, every game here is important so we have to keep our collective focus on the task at hand,” said Tiu. “How we will perform in the first game will set the tone for our campaign.”Mighty will play four games in the preliminaries and will have to get into the top four of Group A to advance to the crossover quarterfinals that will start on Feb. 7.The semifinals will be played on Feb. 8 while the finals will be on the ninth.ADVERTISEMENT MANILA, Philippines—Mighty Sports will have its wits immediately tested just day after its arrival in the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai International Basketball Championships.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrantscenter_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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