Voyager Political Report: Election 2020

Staff Reporter Aaron Arnstein and Opinion Editor Jacob Safier discuss politics, including the 2020 Presidential Election.

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to make most of the headlines, the 2020 Presidential Election is only months away. From Joe Biden’s potential pick for Vice President, to how the current economic landscape could impact Trump’s re-election chances, staff reporter Aaron Arnstein and Opinion Editor Jacob Safier discuss the recent political news regarding the 2020 Presidential Election.

(Aaron Arnstein) AA: Welcome back to another Voyager podcast. Today we will be discussing the recent political news, specifically 2020 Presidential Election news. I’m here joined with my expert in politics, Jacob Safier.

(Jacob Safier) JS: Hi, everybody.

AA: Thanks for coming on. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about news involving Trump and Biden, Trump’s Democratic opponent in the 2020 Election. One of Trump’s biggest strengths for re-election was the economy, but now that the economy has plummeted, how do you think this will affect his re-election bid?

JS: No one really saw what was coming and from early, Trump took a hard stance on China and he’s really been proactive to help Americans. He’s been working with Democratic governors and Democrats in Congress to pass stimulus bills to bring relief to Americans. I think Americans will judge this election by not how much we lost from the virus, but how Trump has handled the virus. From early on, he’s taken it very seriously, and a constitutional crisis has come up where people are saying he’s doing too much, he’s not doing enough, what is he allowed to do? I think he’s had a good balance between letting states determine what they want to do, while also working with the CDC to develop guidelines and provide relief for Americans.

AA: Some people are criticizing him for governor’s actions for opening up their states early, but the governors have the final say in their states, so I don’t think you can criticize Trump for the other states and what they are doing. For example, Georgia already opened up some of their businesses last week. I think some people criticized him for his handling of the coronavirus but on the other side, some people are happy with the stance he’s taken. Now let’s talk about the democratic candidate, Joe Biden. A lot of talk has been surrounding him and who he might pick as potential Vice President. Who are some of the top candidates, and who do you think Biden will ultimately choose?

JS: I think everyone agrees that it will be a woman, because Joe Biden is the stereotypical old, white, man and it seems that Americans would want a woman to go along with that. It would definitely help his candidacy for election. I’ve heard people throw out Elizabeth Warren, who had a failed bid in the Democratic primary this past election season. I’ve heard Stacey Abrams, she ran for governor of Georgia against Brian Kemp, and also lost. I’m even hearing Michelle Obama. But basically everybody I’ve heard has been a woman. Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris. You can look online, there’s lists of who Joe Biden wants to pick, and I think every list will all be women. It’s a perfect counter to who Joe Biden is.

AA: That definitely helps him in the election, having a woman as his running mate. That definitely will get more women on his side. Talking about Biden’s recent involvement with women, he’s been in the news for his alleged sexual assault of Tara Reade. How do you think other Democrats are reacting to this allegation, and do you think this will hurt his election chances come November?

JS: I think it will definitely hurt him, but I don’t think it will make or break the election. This really shows the double standard with the Republican and Democratic parties. If you look at Brett Kavenaugh a couple of years ago, he was accused by Christine Ford, but no one backed up this woman’s claim, she couldn’t remember the story very well, and this man’s reputation was ruined with no real, hard evidence. Then you see, Tara Reade, who reported this assault back when it happened, back in the 90s.

AA: Yeah, 1993.

JS: People back up the facts that she consistently tells the same story, she tells it in detail, and all these people who say “believe women, believe survivors,” they don’t believe Tara Reade. They stand with Joe Biden. This whole movement of believing women all the time, it only applies to Republicans. If a Democrat does something bad, it doesn’t apply. But if it’s a Republican, then automatically they’re guilty.

AA: We obviously saw when Trump was running back in the 2016 Election for his first presidential bid, a lot of women came out and made similar allegations against him, and the Democrats got all over him, but ultimately it didn’t hurt his election bid, as he ended up winning the 2016 Election. It should be interesting, with numerous women coming out against Trump, but he ended up winning. I don’t think this one allegation on Biden will end up hurting him in the end, but it definitely puts the Democrats, who are supposed to be allies with him, in a tough position. Sticking with the Democratic Party, DNC Chair Tom Perez said he still expects to hold an in-person Democratic National Convention in mid-August, which is supposed to take place in Milwaukee. Do you think this event will still happen?

JS: I definitely don’t think it will be the big event that it normally is. Whenever there’s a huge party convention it draws huge crowds, the media travel from all over. I don’t think it will happen this time, if it is in-person, it will be just for the essential people that need to be there, the delegates. I don’t think it will be anything too big this time, they’re just going to want to get the job done, and leave. I don’t think it’s going to be nearly as big as it normally is, but I think it’s one of those things that might have to be in-person no matter what. When we’re in a democracy, I don’t know how well that would work over Zoom. I think it will happen in person, but I don’t think it will be like anything we’ve seen before.

AA: Yeah, I can’t really imagine a Democratic or Republican National Convention over Zoom. That would be kind of weird. I think it’s really important for the DNC to happen, specifically, because obviously the Democrats need to show their support for Biden, and show that they are all rallying behind him if they want to try and defeat Trump. One final thing here, we actually have some breaking news as of about an hour or two ago. Vice President Mike Pence’s Secretary Katie Miller has just tested positive for the coronavirus. She hasn’t been around President Trump directly, but she’s had a lot of contact with Mike Pence, the Vice President, and also with journalists. Obviously everyone hopes this does not happen, whether you like Trump or not, but if Trump came down with the coronavirus, what do you that would look like for the country, because I know the typical quarantine is 2-14 days, so if he did come down with the coronavirus, what do you think that would look like? Would Pence take control? What do you think would happen?

JS: While it’s very unlikely, I think it really depends on his own immune system and how he would handle it. It’s really on a case-by-case basis. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Britain [United Kingdom] contracted the virus, and he was in the ICU for a little bit, but he was fine, and I believe he stayed away from his duties a couple of days, but don’t quote me on that. I think what would really happen if he contracted the virus is people would be saying he’s a hypocrite and didn’t take it seriously, and you’d see people wishing on his death. People are brutal in the political world, and if Trump got the virus, people would be all over him, saying that he wasn’t careful enough and that it’s a symbol of his weak response. That’s what I predict would happen. It would definitely make the issue a lot more personal for him, and it could influence his decisions going forward, but I don’t think that that would even happen. The White House is very careful with President Trump, he’s older, but I really don’t think it’s an issue to worry about. I think it’s the least of our concerns right now.

AA: I hope you’re right, because I’m also reading that Katie Miller, the one who’s contracted the coronavirus, is actually married to Trump’s Senior Adviser, Stephen Miller, so I don’t know how much contact Stephen Miller has with Trump.

JS: I believe the President said in one of his last press conferences that he didn’t have contact with these people, so who knows? He’s been tested before. He’s tested negative, there’s been some close calls, so he might get tested again. As a government official, I believe he’s entitled to more tests because it’s his job to lead the country, but let’s hope he does not get the virus.

AA: Definitely. That’s for everyone, but specifically the leader of the United States, the President, Trump. We definitely hope that he’s safe, and everyone, stay safe out there. We thank you all for listening to this special Election 2020 podcast, with my political expert, Jacob Safier, and we hope you guys all stay safe. We’ll see you next time here on the Voyager podcast.