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Right now you can try zip recruiter for free at zip recruiter dotcom slash crooked that zip recruiter dotcom slash crooked. Welcome to Positive America, I'm Jon Favreau. I'm Dan Pfeiffer on today's pod. I talked to Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandella Barnes about the latest developments in the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Before that, we'll talk about the first three nights of the Republican National Convention and what it might mean for the final 68 days of the election.

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But first, check out this week's Puzzle of the World, where Tommie and Ben talk about the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The foreign policy lowlights from the RNC and chat with a 26 year old politician from Brazil named Tabata Amaral, who's been called her country's version of AOC.

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And finally, believe it or not, there are only 10 weekends left between now and the election, 10, then 10.

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Do you think that's a lot or a little? I think it's a little. I mean, it doesn't seem like a lot, but. I don't know, I mean, I feel like, know, 10 weekends ago what was happening 10 weekends ago, probably the same thing is going to happen this weekend and 14 weekends from now and 20 weekends from now.

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Nothing anyway, make them count this weekend or adopt a state program is hosting a special weekend of action to help Democrats take back the Senate, signed up to adopt a state ID vote, Save America, dot com slash, adopt. And we will send you details about exactly what you can do to help from home adopt a state.

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Do not freak out, just help out.

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That's my that's my new slogan for the last 68 days in that could fit on a cuzzi or something called the March People.

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I actually although I do want to be sort of self-aware about this, I think you can freak out and help out because that's what I'm going to do.

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Yes. I'm not going to be able to not freak out.

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I was going to keep your secret for you. But since you you just admitted that publicly, it's fine. Now, I always admit, yeah, I'm a fucking mess every day. OK, let's get to the news.

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We will we'll dig into the Republican National Convention in a minute. But at this point, I think the event has really been overshadowed by two major developments. One is a catastrophic hurricane that's hitting Louisiana right now, and the other is the protests that have taken place after a video surfaced of a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who shot twenty nine year old Jacob Blak seven times in the back in front of his children on Tuesday night as people took to the streets.

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A Blue Lives Matter supporter from Illinois who attended a Trump rally in January shot and killed two protesters and injured a third. The 17 year old has been charged with first degree murder. The police officer who shot Jacob Blake has been placed on leave while the case is investigated.

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And the protests have spread far beyond Kenosha to professional sports, where players on various teams in the NBA and Major League Baseball, starting with the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers, chose to sit out their games and possibly the rest of the NBA season in protest. There are a lot more details to the story. I tried to cram in as many as I could, but I do want to stop here, Dan, and get your reaction to both the shooting and the scope of the protests, which, you know, now include some pretty bold action from a lot of professional athletes.

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It's. The whole. Incident is sort of embodies everything that is so horrible about this period in which we're living, the shooting of Jacob Blake is horrifying. The shooting of the peaceful protesters is horrifying.

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The differential in treatment between Jacob Blake and the white shooter of the protesters by the police is horrifying. The comments by the law enforcement, Kenosha blaming the protesters reaching out past curfew is horrifying, the way in which the far right is now lifting up as some sort of hero.

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This 17 year old who shot who just who shot protesters is horrifying. And it is. It is. And we will get to this. It is in many ways a fitting backdrop to the convention that we are seeing in, I guess, D.C. or in the White House, wherever it's happening, because it a lot of.

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The themes of that convention run headlong into this, and I think I just want to say one thing about the protest more broadly is like the I think credit goes to the athletes at the in the NBA, Major League Baseball, WNBA, who are taking a really bold stand. The you know, this is the NBA players are professional athletes. Sitting out a game and in protest is something that has not happened in history. And it seeks to, I think, raise attention to this in a very real way.

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And I think it goes to something that is so important is we we are living in deeply dangerous, abnormal times. And it is easy to feel the pull of normalcy because we want our lives to be normal.

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And frankly, watching NBA games, even if they're happening in a bubble with, you know, fans on the on a on a screen and fake applause still feels like something resembling normal times. And when LeBron James and the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of these players say they're not going to play, that shakes that sense of normalcy that a lot of people are clinging to. And I think that's important if we're going to confront all of the systemic racism that undergirds this incident and all the other ones we've been talking about in this this year and before, I think it's it's sort of the only way that we can really confront it.

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I mean, what has struck me about I've been thinking about sort of the differences between Kenosha and the the protests that erupted after George Floyds murder and what, you know, in in many ways, it's just as horrifying, just as infuriating. But it's also a bit more dispiriting because between the Floyd protests and now, nothing significant has been done, particularly on a national level, about police brutality. There is a there is legislation stalled because Mitch McConnell obviously won't take it up in the Senate in Wisconsin right now.

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You know, the Republican legislature refuses to come back into session to do anything about this. Obviously, there have been small and important victories around police budgets in many cities, but clearly not enough. And I think I think to me, so long as we have a political system that is this broken with with Donald Trump as president, with gerrymandered Republican legislatures all around the country, with police departments that are run like they are with a Senate that is run by Mitch McConnell, so long as we have this political system, there will be protests, but nothing will give until something big changes.

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And I do think that's why what with the NBA, with so many people in the NBA did yesterday was so momentous because they are basically using all of the power of their platform to try to change this. And, you know, it's a lot more than some of the sort of corporate moves you saw around George FOID, where there just be sort of like a, you know, a statement from a company or a brand. Right. Like this is this is a real action that that these NBA players have taken.

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And I hope a lot more people in different parts of society see this and take similar action.

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So I'll talk about this more later with with Lieutenant Governor Barnes. And I have no idea what what, if any, kind of political impact the shooting of these protests will have. But I do want to talk briefly about how both campaigns are handling it. Joe Biden released a video where he said that Jacob Blake shooting made him sick, that he promised Blake's family that justice would be done. The protesting brutality is necessary and that burning down communities isn't protest, but needless violence.

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At his party's convention. Donald Trump gave prime time speaking slots to a rich white couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters. The attorney general, who so far refused to charge Brianna Taylor's killers and multiple speakers who attacked athletes for protesting police brutality. What do you make of the different responses to Kenosha from the two campaigns? The Biden folks seem like they wanted to emphasize both support for the protests and opposition to the violence. The Trump campaign didn't allow the incident to change anything about their convention, their law and order message at all, and in fact, did what they could to continue inciting this kind of division and violence.

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I mean, it has been the primary political strategy of the Republican Party for decades to scare the living shit out of white people. And they see an opportunity to do that right here in the tipping point state that will likely decide the presidential race in Wisconsin. And that is what the convention is about. That is what putting the mcclosky, the St. Louis gun couple in prime time from their giant mansion, speaking to a convention and treating them as heroes for pointing assault weapons at peaceful.

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Pasteur's. All right, that the rule of the Republican like the way the Republicans view this is. White people can use weapons to to respond in any way they see fit to defend themselves, whether that threat is real or not. But peaceful protests from black people is presents a clear and present danger to the safety and security and sanctity of white people. That that is the message they have been trying and they've been doing this long before Donald Trump ever rolled on the scene.

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This is 68. This is Ronald Reagan. This is Willie Horton. This is Sarah Palin. This is a this has been the primary stretch of Republican Party. And there it is on steroids in this Republic convention. But that is what is happening.

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And they're not trying to hide it. Right. Kellyanne Conway this morning said, quote, The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order.

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So they are they are openly talking about their political calculations around what's happening. So I guess the question is, if you're the Biden campaign, how do you handle it? I thought his video yesterday was a good start. I know he was talking today basically saying he used Kellyanne Kelman's comments to say they want this, you know, like they basically want to pour gasoline on this fire. Yeah, I think I think you're right.

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Always the best way with Trump is to call out the game to explain why they are doing things and what they are. Why are they trying to divide us? What are they trying to distract us from? And that is a much better way than being defensive about it and then sort of buying into the language of the right in talking about some of the isolated incidents of violence that may happen around these largely peaceful protest, whether in there or elsewhere.

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And so, you know, I think Joanna's campaign navigated the protests around the murders of George Floyd Brown and so many others quite well. Right. By doing this, by just speaking from the heart and not being defensive about it. And that's what they're doing here. And I imagine that's what they're going to keep doing.

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And also, let's talk about what we mean when we say violence in Kenosha, because the two major incidents of violence so far are a police officer shooting an unarmed black man seven times in the back and then a Trump supporter from Illinois coming into Wisconsin and shooting and killing two protesters and injuring a third, someone who is a Trump supporter who was at a Trump rally.

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And so I do think, like Donald Trump bears responsibility here in the language he uses and how he incites people every day on Twitter and at his rallies. And I think that Joe Biden and the Democrats and I saw they started doing this today like this will not end until Trump is no longer president.

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And there's no zero guarantee that it will end when Trump isn't president anymore. But there's no chance of change with Donald Trump as president right now. Like, you know, there will be there will be police brutality and there will be violence and there will be chaos as long as this man holds power and most Republican officials and continue to stoke these divisions.

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And I think that is the clear message, because, you know, Donald Trump's trying to say like, oh, if Joe Biden becomes president, there'll be violence and chaos and our in our cities.

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It's happening now with Donald Trump as president.

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That's the fatal fall in the Trump argument. Someone had said this on Twitter and I apologize for not remember who it was, but Donald Trump's message is that he's going to stop all the things that are currently happening from happening, right?

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Yeah, no, that's the whole message. That's the whole message.

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We cannot let it go without pointing out that. Like you were right, Donald Trump is bears responsibility here, not just Donald Trump, Republicans up and down the ballot bear responsibility for this because their message is if you if your message is.

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We anyone who once can buy an assault rifle, also we're going to scare you with with racist language about black about black protesters and and immigrants and terrorists coming to kill you when people take matters into their own hands with the very weapons you're allowing them to get, in many cases without background checks, you bear responsibility for this.

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It is a bit like it's easy to gloss over. This is like typical politics. But you at the same time, you're giving people access to deadly weapons of war and. Trying to incite violence at the same time that like that, that is not normal, that is not just part of politics, that's not left versus right. That is why people die. That's why we have a huge unacknowledged right wing terrorism problem in this country.

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Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump's pal who advises him on things, said last night on his fucking program. How shocked are we that 17 year olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Ann Coulter, I want him as my president talking about the 17 year old who murdered two people in Wisconsin.

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That's that's that is what conservative media is beaming into the homes of millions of Americans. That message and the Republican Party, they go on those shows, they get advice from those media personalities. They take their cues from what happens on Fox News.

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That is the Republican Party ecosystem right now.

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And you cannot have a conversation about how public opinion is changing and the politics of all this without acknowledging how off the fucking deep end these people have gone.

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Let's talk about everything that we have unfortunately seen at the the upbeat and optimistic Republican convention, which has been a mix of video testimonials and mostly pretaped speeches at a podium in front of an empty auditorium. There have also been a few segments where Trump surprised unsuspecting White House guests with things like pardons and citizenship as a way to juice those ratings, because he is, as we've been told, quite a showman.

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That's what we're told about Donald Trump.

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What are your before we get into the specifics, what are your overall thoughts about the format of this convention compared to what we saw at the DNC last week?

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I think it is less of a shit show that we probably imagined it would be like it's you know, it moves like there haven't been sort of technical glitches or anything like that.

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It is certainly a great opportunity to get coronavirus from the Democratic convention, considering all the people without masks just hanging out together at Fort McHenry at the Pens to be a thousand people at the Trump speech tonight with our masks are optional and discouraged, apparently.

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And I think, you know, we can talk maybe a little bit later about the strategy, but just in the day to day insanity of life in the Trump era. Like, it all seems so stupid and chaotic, like there's no plan, and that is true and Trump is speaking or tweeting, but there is a plan here. Right? And sometimes that's shocking to see when it's for them to have even the basic bare bones of a strategy to accomplish political goals.

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And that is definitely happening here. And so, like that is not I'm just struck. I just can't stop thinking about 2016. When you and I were I was at both conventions in 2016 and you and I did podcasts from them.

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And I remember sitting in Cleveland, I was doing it in the I was talking to you for the hour, keeping a 16 hour forecast that sitting in the empty baseball bleachers at the Cleveland Indians Stadium, which is right next to the arena where the convention was.

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And we were just like dunking on them and laughing at them and talking about Antonio Sabato Jr and all the absurdities and Michael Flynn's insanity.

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And I remember a similar conversation in Philadelphia feeling great about the amazing Clinton convention.

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And it's just know, I don't think those assessments were necessarily wrong, but it's easy to overread one way or the other into it. And so I just want to like as we have this conversation, take a step back and recognize that we don't know the impact of any of this stuff yet. And we could be surprised by it one way or the other in both in both instances.

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Yeah. And I always hold out the possibility that we could be surprised that or maybe not surprised that neither convention had much of an impact at all.

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Yeah, I mean, that's just the other.

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And that also we don't know that about 2016 either, looking back on it. Right.

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Like how much those conventions had an impact on the final on the final outcome.

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Yeah. I mean it's like there.

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Well, yeah, there are a long way from the election and a million things happened between them. I think we can say with some certainty that the Democratic Convention in 2020 was successful because we have seen data that shows that Joe Biden improved his personal favorability ratings pretty significantly come out. Those questions that was the goal of that entire program was to further define Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the eyes of voters.

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They achieve that.

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We don't know what will happen in this one.

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I will say something about the difference in format. I think the the Democratic convention, the format, acknowledge that we are living through a pandemic, global pandemic.

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They acknowledge reality. Right. And so there were speeches from all different parts of the country. Right.

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Like you, you didn't go long in the Democratic convention programming without remembering that covid is sort of like the essential fact of American life right now. The Republican convention so far has tried very hard to make people forget about the pandemic completely. And we'll talk about how that's true in the speeches. But it was also true in the format, right? It's just like here's a podium, here's a bunch of speakers. Here's a bunch of like a lot of the pretaped videos we're in about covid pretended like it had never happened.

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Like even the format and production of the Republican convention sort of is strategic in that I think it's trying to make people forget about the biggest crisis that we're facing right now, one that Donald Trump has not handled well at all.

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I mean, it's a poor execution of it because the medium is the message, right? The fact that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are delivering these speeches in empty rooms, that this was all happening by Zoome was a very implicit reminder that Donald Trump is massively screwed up. The pandemic, which is forcing us to live in a world where people cannot be in the same room together.

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The Republican convention is trying like there is some you know, there is some rhetorical toss to what we have more testing and where we really have to talk about the China ban from six months ago, as if six months later, there weren't a thousand Americans dying every single day, which seems to suggest that maybe that China ban was not as effective as the Republicans would suggest.

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But even when you look at that like the head on shot of Mike Pence, his speech in Fort McHenry, that seems like a real event. He's outside and there are signs and he's at a fort.

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But then when they do the crowd, it's like forty five people sitting together like kind of like golf, clapping and like so that you can't it's like the worst of all worlds, right.

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Is to try to pretend like something's not happening, but do it so poorly that it reminds every that everyone knows you're trying to pretend like it's not happening.

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So, you know, as you said, like we don't know the effect that this convention and the Republicans will have on voters, yet neither of us have spoken to any undecided voters yet this week, maybe we can refrain from pontificating with certainty about how they're reacting.

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I know that's a while, but know there's two types of data. There is polls and there's anecdotes on Twitter. So and they're equally valuable in assessing politics.

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Look, it's important as a pundit to show that, you know, what swing voters are thinking and then everyone else around you, just a bunch of media elites who are just sneering down their noses at them.

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But you know exactly what voters are thinking. You are in touch with voters.

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That's how you pundit.

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Dan, what we can do, even if we don't know voters reaction, is we can talk about what kind of voters the Trump campaign seems to be targeting with this convention and what they want them to hear.

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What do you think? What is the what what have you detected as the strategy of this convention?

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Other there's certainly. Two groups of voters that they are. Trying to attract or persuade with this convention and. It's an open question is whether you can do both at the same time, but one group is definitely. And moderate Republicans and Republican leaning independents who have left Trump and the message to these people is Trump is less racist than you think, he's actually a better president than you think. He's more of a traditional Republican than you think. Related to that, Joe Biden's more of a typical liberal Democrat, do you think?

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And so we know you want to come home to be with your Republican family and we're trying to create a permission structure for you to do that.

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Second group is the large number of nonvoting likely Trump voters in the Midwestern states and Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. And that is what the base rhetoric is for. That's what the McCluskey's are for. That's what the Antifa anarchy in the cities of as far as you're trying to jack up turnout among those people.

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And if you're not going to get all the Republican leaning voters back and you're not going to get all the the new voters in but a little bit from column, a little bit from Column B could win you this race.

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And we don't know how many of those nonvoters are tuning in or have tuned in to the nine convention.

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But I was well, I was going to say what we do know in general about sporadic voters, low propensity voters, whatever you want to call them, on both the Democratic side and the Republican side. And they're sort of different demographics on each side is that they are very disconnected from the news. They do not pay attention to politics as closely as all of us. And so they are probably unlikely to have watched the convention.

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Perhaps they saw some media coverage of the convention, but they aren't they don't even follow the news super closely either. And we just know this because of past polls and research and focus groups about people who tend to not vote in every election. So it is tougher to reach those people. But you're right that it's probably not as tough to reach Republicans who or people who voted for Trump in 16, either they were Obama Trump voters or they voted for Trump in 16 and now disapprove of him and are probably still Fox News watchers are probably still you know, they still pay attention to a lot of Republican media.

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So I'm sure they were a big target of Trump in this campaign. And you're right, for those people, a lot of the problem is like Trump has just been a bad guy and he hasn't been an effective president and he hasn't done great on covid and he's too much of an asshole. So maybe I won't vote for him in this whole convention was basically saying no. I mean, I got a couple of messages out of the convention that I wrote down here.

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One is, Trump is the greatest president ever. Despite what you know, the crooked media may tell you a lot of media bashing about how Trump is a victim, he's a victim of the media, is actually the greatest president ever. The next messages, covid, is yesterday's news. Forget about covid. It's already it's gone that it's something that we went through. It's past tense. Third is Republicans aren't racist or sexist, and neither are you for supporting them.

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That was that's a that's been every night of the of the convention. And then the final one is Joe Biden. Kamala Harris are puppets of the radical left who will turn America into a violent, chaotic escape where you may be canceled. That's another big, big part of the message. Did I miss any or those other messages?

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No, those are all the message. I mean, yeah, that's probably I mean, like there's iterations of those. But that I think that is that is right.

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I do think part of it of like embedded all of that is they're really trying to make Trump seem like a more like a typical Republican. Right. That is why that's why all these small business owners talking about getting rid of regulations.

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That's what the discussion of the tax cuts and the judges are, which is like if you're a Republican, if you generally like Republicans, you should like Trump, because if you think about it, in polling prior to the pandemic, Trump was seventy five percent of the Trump voters who voted for a Democrat in the twenty eighteen elections were planning to vote for Trump in. Twenty, twenty now, clearly, by the size of Biden's margin, that number has dropped some if Trump gets that number back to seventy five or a little bit higher in seventy five, he this is a very, very close race that he can win in the battleground states.

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And so he's got to get some just some regular Republicans who typically vote for Republicans to vote for him because the Electoral College has a four to five point Republican advantage.

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I will say that the strategy of trying to turn Trump into a typical Republican, while it may or may not have been successful this week, but it was certainly a strategy this week, I do think it's going to be harder for them to pull off long term, because the one surprise for me from this convention based compared to how they were previewing it, is how little Trump there has been at the convention.

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So like Monday morning, Trump goes and gives like a 50 minute speech right after he gets nominated. That says all kinds of crazy shit. Right. Since then, we've seen so little and heard so little from Donald Trump. He's in a few of these videos at the convention, but he's even not saying too much in the videos. Some of the speakers, some of the the most well-received speeches that we're going to talk about barely mentioned Donald Trump. And so there's been to me, there's been much less Trump at this convention than I thought there would be, which I think could help Trump.

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But long term, as soon as we go back to like Donald Trump doing his press conferences and doing his crazy interviews and saying crazy shit on Twitter, it's going to sort of move away from this idea that he's just another Republican.

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That is always the problem with Trump is your best laid messaging will be upended by Trump. You raised more like how many of these periodic sporadic voters are watching this convention.

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Here's the math.

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The math is that if I did this right in my head, 15 percent of the 2016 electorate is watching these conventions, just kind of presuming the same ratings for the next couple of the next night.

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And of that 15 percent, you know that the overwhelming majority of that are decided voters on both sides, either people who love Trump watching it and or people who are watching it, or people who are forced by professional obligation like us to watch it.

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And so, like, you're not talking to a lot of undecided voters, but this is I think the way to think about this strategy is how it plays out over time in the context of where, you know, where they spend their money, what they're paid media strategy is now.

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I don't think the best paid media strategy with the best funded campaign ads can overcome the attention that Trump's own behavior gets. But you don't have to make big shifts in the electorate to win a race because this is a electoral college race is one on the margins and a bunch of very close states.

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And so moving things, a few points here, shaving a couple of points off of Biden's margin with black voters getting back some of those seniors. And we're looking at something entirely different in a few months from now.

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Let's talk about the big speeches from the first night, which were from former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Haley and Scott both focused on race with Haley, saying she doesn't believe the United States is racist. And Scott told his own story while attacking Biden's record on racial issues. Here are two clips from their speeches.

[00:35:48]

There's one more important area where our president is right. He knows that political correctness and cancel culture are dangerous and just plain wrong. In much of the Democratic Party, it's now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country. This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants, they came to America and settled in a small southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore sorry.

[00:36:28]

I was a brown girl and a black and white world. We faced discrimination and hardship, but my parents never gave in to grievance and hate.

[00:36:39]

Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that's why I believe the next American century can be better than the last. There are millions of families just like mine all across this nation full of potential seeking to live the American dream. And I'm here tonight to tell you that supporting the Republican ticket gives you the best chance of making that dream a reality.

[00:37:12]

Dan, what did you what did you think of their speeches? Annoying, just like it's all B.S., right.

[00:37:20]

Is pretending that Trump is not someone that he is. It's like in a vacuum in a normal world, they're totally fine. Kind of OK. Written convention speeches. Scott's was better than Haleys, but it's just something bizarre about the fact that these speeches were given as if they had been speaking at Mitt Romney's convention 2012 with no regard for everything that has happened since. You know, and I think that's most noted in Nikki Haley speech where she goes out of the way to point out that America is not racist.

[00:37:46]

And then talks about the reason Nikki Haley became a national celebrity was her response to the racist mass shooting in Charleston, where what she became famous for was removing the Confederate flag in South Carolina.

[00:38:01]

But she alludes to it in the most indirect way possible, because you can't say that now in a Republican convention where Donald Trump has been a backer of the Confederate flag. And so, like, they're totally fine. And I think they're probably effective. You know, if you are someone who in your gut wants to be for Trump, but you are deeply disturbed by his rhetoric on race and you see two prominent Republicans of color saying nice things about Trump that could get you in there.

[00:38:28]

But they are detached from the reality of who Trump is and deeply, deeply insincere. Yeah, I had two thoughts listening to the speeches, I also thought the other that Tim Scott's was better and maybe one of the best speeches at the convention. Of course, relatively speaking. But I thought, one, if either of these two were the nominee of their party, they would be formidable nominees. The media would fan all over them. I think they'd be more competitive than Donald Trump is with the Democrat.

[00:39:05]

And then my second thought was neither of these two elected officials would ever make it out of a Republican primary in twenty twenty or twenty twenty four, which will be their first shot. They just wouldn't. They just wouldn't. Because what they do not they did not hit enough of the Fox News right wing erogenous zones that the Trumps do all the time.

[00:39:28]

And I think like it was it was highlighted by two other speeches from the first night from Don Junior and his girlfriend, Kim Guilfoile, which I believe we have a clip of that just something whatever that was. Here's the here's a clip.

[00:39:43]

They want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom. They want to control what you see and think and believe so that they can control how you live. They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent, liberal victim ideology to that point that you will not recognize this country or yourself.

[00:40:13]

Yes. So does seem like maybe Don Junior and Kim or the maybe that's the future of the party and not so much Haley and Scott, but what do you think? Oh, for sure.

[00:40:23]

One hundred percent for sure that that is the future.

[00:40:28]

Someone who is more like Don Jr. and or can go forward is the future of the party, not Tim Scott or Nikki Haley.

[00:40:34]

I think like we were talking about what the strategy is. And I think it's fair to say that the strategy in conception is not insane. Right. Like, it matches up against where you see Trump's deficits are among core sets of voters. There is a roadmap to 270. If you were to execute elements of that strategy successfully, the execution, like all things with Trump, is not awesome and simply isn't like you go into that night.

[00:40:57]

Right. Like like not the message that is goes across the Kairouan and CNN. But what is on your message board? What are you trying to achieve that night by putting Haley in and Scott in prime time? Is Donald Trump is not as racist as you think that is. That is what you are trying to do.

[00:41:13]

So putting Donald Trump's Yahoo!

[00:41:18]

Son, who is like a frat brother from Kappa Alpha Kappa in between there to just do a bunch of that white nationalist angry rhetoric in the middle makes zero sense, but that Trump's are so obsessed with themselves they can't get out of their own way, which is why 30 percent of the people at this convention are either related to or employed by Donald Trump.

[00:41:38]

Also, like, you know, I know that the sort of like the pundits on cable, we're talking about Scott and Haley's speeches, but the viral moment from the first night was Guilfoile.

[00:41:48]

Yeah, that was those clips instantly.

[00:41:51]

Meme was all over the Internet like, you know, everyone says the Trump campaign is like good about sort of, you know, viral content, digital strategy and all that kind of stuff.

[00:42:00]

But like they guilfoile was the shareable moment from from that first night, not the two people who could have better testified or made a better case for Donald Trump, Haley and Scott.

[00:42:13]

So the final speaker on the convention's second night was First Lady Melania Trump. We'll get to her speech in a second. But just a few things to note. Before that, she delivered the speech in the Rose Garden, which happened after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a convention speech during an official trip to Jerusalem, which happened after the president issued a presidential pardon to a convicted bank robber and hosted a naturalization ceremony both at the White House.

[00:42:36]

For those of you who don't know, there is a law called the Hatch Act, which bans all employees in the executive branch of the federal government except the president from engaging in most political activities.

[00:42:48]

So, Dan, you know, as soon as it became clear that quite a few federal employees might have violated this law for Tuesday night's convention, a few intrepid reporters and pundits rushed to ask the all important question, do ordinary Americans really care about this potential crime?

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What do you think?

[00:43:06]

Did they ask the question? And they just tell us? It was a rhetorical question, actually. That's right. Yeah, it was a rhetorical question at best.

[00:43:12]

At best, most of them just asserted with all of the polling information that apparently they all they all took instant polls right after right after Tuesday night.

[00:43:22]

This made me imagine it made me quite mad because I know, like one, this always sets me off when someone said, does anyone outside the Beltway think X?

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The person who asked that question is always inside the Beltway and only talk to. People in the Beltway, right, so like the truth, does anyone outside the Beltway care about a massive misuse of taxpayer dollars and illegal activity? Yes.

[00:43:47]

Does anyone inside the Beltway care about it? Apparently not. And the idea, you know, and I wrote about this today, but the idea that voters don't care about corruption, that's an issue voters care about has no basis in history or polling. Right. The 2006 election was run. The primary message for the Democrats took the House with a huge incentive. It was about the Republican culture of corruption. It was a huge part of Barack Obama's campaign.

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It's why the most successful candidates in 18 and 20 have foregone lobbyist and PAC contributions. It is a a check on Trump's corruption was a big brother. It makes no sense.

[00:44:30]

Voters care about this now. Voters will not care about it if we don't talk about it. I think it is true that people may not care.

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About this one very specific provision, but above the law, but that will but that no one is arguing that we're going to start running ads that say Trump violated the Hatch Act with like pictures of Orrin Hatch on it. Like that's not what we're going to do.

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What you have to do is you leave it.

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It's a data point that that supports a larger narrative about Trump.

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And I think it is insane that Trump is committing crimes on national television. And we are and people are making a big deal about it, either in the media or in the Democratic Party.

[00:45:11]

I think it's part of a larger disease that is afflicted the national political press corps, which is this belief that part of their job is to let America know what America thinks without asking America.

[00:45:25]

It's important without asking America right when it's because, like I said, some reporters say like, well, look, I've done all these stories and broken all this news on corruption. I'm like, fantastic, great job. That's your job. That's the job of being a reporter is breaking news about stuff like good for you.

[00:45:38]

You did your job like the job is not to hand wave something like this and say, well, I don't know if we're going to talk about it because people don't care about it. Like, you know what?

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If you show me a poll that, like, no one knows what the Hatch Act is or people don't really care, it doesn't move voters. Sure. I'm not going to be surprised by that poll. Like, just show me the data, you know, but like, that's different than what your job should be as a reporter.

[00:46:04]

When the president or the president's employees may have potentially broken the law, you should let people know that they did.

[00:46:12]

It should be a big story. You know, you should talk about that.

[00:46:15]

That's sort of the job of the public. That's the fundamental job of the political press. And if you tell people in advance that they probably don't care about it, it's a self-fulfilling cycle that will lead people not to care about it. Right.

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I mean, this all a lot of the online debate about this had to do with a paragraph that made this point and pretty cynical ways about what voters care about in Politico playbook. And people got very, very mad about it. In some cases, I would say disproportionately so.

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But yeah, but it's not it's not the end. This is not the end of the world, but it is indicative of a larger issue. Yes.

[00:46:50]

And Jake Sherman, who is the reporter who want to he's one of the authors of Playbook. I assume he wrote this paragraph giving his response, but he went through into this laundry list of stories that he broke on corruption that led to huge political consequences for the subjects of those stories. It's like I broke the story on Bill Shuster. Bill Shuster resigned.

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I broke the story and Aaron Schock, Aaron Schock, because I was like, yes, you're actually proving the point that voters care because the voters didn't care.

[00:47:17]

They wouldn't have had to resign.

[00:47:19]

It was like last thing I will say about this is like it is fun for us to yell at yell at the press about it's not fun. I would take it is not fun. We can't help ourselves here about the press, but ultimately.

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Whether voters care about or not has some relationship to how reporters cover it, but is mostly related to whether Democrats make the case about it, right. That's where the RNC is, right?

[00:47:40]

Very fair is if we decide in advance that we're not going to make an issue of it, then voters will not care like we have agency in how we do that. And I generally think that if the president commits crimes on national television, we should talk about them.

[00:47:54]

And not talking about them is a Mazlo crazy crazy. Subscribe to the list of four key insights like that.

[00:48:03]

Let's talk about Bologna's speech, which was widely praised for being the first to acknowledge the pandemic and offer sympathies to people who are sick or lost loved ones. Just insane stuff. She was also applauded for acknowledging that people have been protesting racism and saying that, quote, We are not proud of parts of our history. Groundbreaking stuff. Here's a clip of one speech.

[00:48:25]

I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy covid-19 swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one, and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you're not alone. Dan, what did you think of the speech?

[00:49:04]

Well, John, I am not proud of Melania's history because for all of her gauzy rhetoric about racial reconciliation, she was a 100 percent backer of Donald Trump's racist birther conspiracy. And so forgive me for not taking this speech particularly seriously. The whole conversation around it bespeaks the love incredibly low bar that Republicans have to stand for in order to be applauded.

[00:49:32]

That's been the story of the entire fucking convention. And it's honestly, it's like it's it's partly because of Trump. It's because Trump is so bad, right. That, like, the bar is so fucking low for all these people that a number of them just sailed right over it because Trump's the one who said it.

[00:49:50]

If you acknowledge that some people may be suffering from the pandemic that's killing 1000 Americans a day, you get a Nobel Prize like that, like that's how it's being treated.

[00:50:03]

I know, like I know that it's like, you know, to be savvy, you're supposed to say that, like Melania sort of like did the humanizing approach and was and was like wormer in a way that Donald Trump is not all that kind of stuff.

[00:50:15]

I thought the speech was fucking all over the place. Like it didn't have a like it was like a bunch of disconnected stories. I don't know that if you polled a lot of people, maybe who knows if anyone could.

[00:50:28]

I don't remember anything from the speech. I remember that she acknowledged that covid existed.

[00:50:34]

What I remember from that speech and she told a couple stories and she then she said that Donald Trump should be elected for four more years. I can't tell you what else she said it was. I don't think her delivery was that great. I don't think she was that passionate about the speech. I just didn't it didn't do it for me.

[00:50:48]

It's like there is a deep desire in the general political pundit press world to find one Trump to be nice to.

[00:50:59]

And people thought that would be a VANKA for a long time because she was of their cocktail party circuit. But then she turned out to be such a terrible grifter that she's been passed over.

[00:51:10]

And so if Melania I mean, look, though, we are we are recording this before Ivanka speaks tonight. I will give you the punditry on Ivanka speech already. So please do. So secret secret weapon for the Trump campaign.

[00:51:22]

Humanize her father in a way no one else could. Told great stories about him, spoke right to the suburban women that the Trump campaign is trying to get back. If this is the message on the campaign trail from her, she could really turn some things around bad.

[00:51:37]

But that's that's what we're going to get from tonight.

[00:51:40]

Thank you for making me preemptively angry.

[00:51:43]

I don't think there were many memorable moments from the third night of the convention, which was, I guess last night. Yeah, that was it. Never. The main event was a long speech from Vice President Mike Pence at Baltimore's Fort McHenry, who, like the first lady, spoke in front of a small crowd that hadn't been tested for covid and was not socially distanced pense used the speech to do some Trump ass kissing and some lying about Joe Biden.

[00:52:03]

Here is a clip now.

[00:52:05]

Last week, Joe Biden said that no miracle is coming. Well well, Joe doesn't seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles.

[00:52:24]

And I'm proud to report that we're on track to have the world's first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.

[00:52:37]

Dan, what do you think pences strategy was with that speech? Well, that's a great question, John.

[00:52:44]

It's I mean, obviously, like staying on the ticket. Yes, yes.

[00:52:50]

Paying respects to Dear Leader. Obviously, there was a lot of Trump is amazing. At one point, he his mother was in the crowd, his actual mother, not mother, and Pence said. Pence made reference to the fact that she might like Donald Trump better than Mike Pence, which is just really embarrassing.

[00:53:05]

I mean, you mean his elderly unmasked mother? Yes. Yeah, right. That's seems like a smart move. I do think that this just take a step back from Pat. I don't think the Trump campaign recognizes how many Americans react viscerally to seeing unmasked people.

[00:53:24]

For the overwhelming majority of Americans, that's all you see, and it is very notable, if you were out and about and you see someone without a mask, and particularly if it's a person who is likely in the vulnerable population.

[00:53:36]

And so when the camera spotlights Mike Pence talking about how much he loves his mother while she is sitting, an event where people who were not tested for coronaviruses are sitting around while she doesn't have a mask on, because if she were to have a mask on, it would upset Donald Trump's view of the world like that is that is fucked up.

[00:53:53]

I feel like the main message we were supposed to get out of that was the line. You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. Yeah, he's just a hammer. He hammered Biden and he did all the law and order stuff. It's just like to me, you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. I mean, let's talk about Donald Trump's America, where a thousand people are dying every day of a pandemic that he let rage out of control.

[00:54:13]

I don't know. Are we safe? We very everyone feel pretty safe.

[00:54:16]

And Donald Trump's America right now, I mean, the fact that just in terms of the death count, we're having to 911 every single week in Donald Trump's watch.

[00:54:26]

I mean, you know, and like the clip we played where Penn talked about, you know, miracles and vaccines, there was also the classic move from this convention, which is to talk about covid in the past tense. There's a really sort of odd decision that they had over this convention to basically their message uncovered is actually Donald Trump handled this better than you think. Here's all the things we did great. Instead of saying here's our plan to get out of it.

[00:54:57]

And the closest Pence got was basically said, you know, we're going to have a we're going to have a vaccine by the end of the year. Just that's just just said that. Just asserted that in the speech. And that's the plan. There was nothing else. Now, apparently tonight Donald Trump is going to announce some faster testing that they are going to deploy. But, yeah, it did not not much by way of plans for for covid at this convention.

[00:55:22]

I mean, that's the that is the dear leader aspect of this, which is you can't ever to focus on the future is to implicitly acknowledge failures in the past.

[00:55:32]

And Donald Trump is temperamentally incapable of that.

[00:55:35]

It's the same reason, like he views any sort of focus on the suffering as an indictment of him, because it's always about him like that. Like that is the truth. And that is the message. It is Trump first.

[00:55:46]

And so you can't you can't like what people want to hear when you do something wrong is it didn't go the way we wanted. We we messed up. We apologize. Here's what we're going to do going forward. But they can't do that first part. The first part to give so much credibility to the second, because you you can't tell people that reality isn't reality. I mean, there's a small percentage of Fox viewers. You can do that, too.

[00:56:09]

But in general, that is not a political strategy that can work as messaging has to be credible. And what is happening in the world with the current covid is no matter what Mike Pence or Donald Trump or Kim go for anyone says is readily apparent to every single person.

[00:56:23]

So related to all the hot takes about the convention and the effect it may or may not have had on people. There are two stories about the state of the race that I want to touch on before we go first by Jim Vanderheiden Axios, who wrote that quote, It feels like August 20, 16 all over again because, quote, Pundits are proclaiming Trump can't win. Reporters are sneering at Trump. Voters on Twitter and cable vandi with a number of reasons not to count Trump out, including the fact that he's doing better in some swing state polls.

[00:56:55]

Have you spoken to any Democrat or seen any piece anywhere that conveys the idea that Donald Trump is toast? I have not.

[00:57:04]

No, I know none now. I don't know anyone who works for the Biden campaign who thinks that or the DNC or random person on Twitter or anyone in my life. Know what?

[00:57:13]

No one thinks that that is an impossible thought. After 2016, there will be people who when Joe Biden has already taken the oath of office and is driving to the White House, who will still be nervous, like at the State of the Union, Joe Biden's first of the year.

[00:57:29]

There will be people who are worried that when that SERGIA is going to march into the office, when they announce the president of the United States, Donald Trump will show up and say to Joe Biden, like, no one is cocky.

[00:57:40]

Right. And it is just such a obnoxious, like straw man press argument to do that.

[00:57:48]

There's no evidence supports and kudos to the many, many, many reporters who responded to that story by pointing out that they do a lot of reporting. They talk to a lot of Democrats.

[00:57:56]

I've never met one who feels that way. And so this is a very specific genre of arrogant contrarianism for the purpose of clicks as opposed to a broader narrative in the media about Democrats.

[00:58:09]

Now, there's a narrative about the race forming that we can talk about. But the part about Cocchi Democrats, I think, is an isolated incident. Yeah, I think there's been a little conflation with Democrats criticizing the convention and and talking about how crazy some of the speeches have been and moments have been, which we have all done with and associating that with a cockiness about the race overall, which I think are very different things.

[00:58:34]

Like I can I can think that the convention might not be super effective at moving voters and still worry in tremendously about the state of the race and polls tightening and a number of things going Donald Trump's ways that he wins, which is where I am.

[00:58:53]

I mean, can you know, I think we've we've talked about it before, but do you want to sort of lay out the possibility that Trump can win the path for him to win?

[00:59:02]

You know, I did that. I think I did that last week. And several people on Twitter reached out and said that they were very unhappy with that.

[00:59:11]

They said, are you trying to scare the shit out of me? And I was like, Yeah, and that's exactly what I'm doing.

[00:59:17]

My my my brother texted me the Axios story, and he's like, should we be worried? And I said, Yes, Andy, we should be worried. And he's like, I'm going. I was like, I got to just figure out what state I'm adopting.

[00:59:28]

It's like he hasn't adopted a state yet. Your own brother had been waiting to figure pick just the right state.

[00:59:34]

OK, well, I'll I'll ask him about North Carolina. Yeah.

[00:59:38]

This race is going to narrow at some point. It absolutely is.

[00:59:43]

And the the point is probably now, because Donald Trump is underperforming his 2016 vote in the polling average by five to seven points. And he's going to get some of that back.

[00:59:54]

He's not losing 57, 40. Right. He's going to get to probably get to it, maybe even exceed his 2016 percentage.

[01:00:07]

Now, that was enough to win in 2016 because you had large numbers of voters who were voting third party.

[01:00:12]

There's no evidence that that is going to happen this time. But this race is going to narrow down. Trump is going to get a convention bounce.

[01:00:18]

Convention bounces happen for the candidates who go into their convention underperforming. You know, who had the two biggest convention bounces of the modern era?

[01:00:29]

John McCain in 2008 in eight and Al Gore in 2000, John McCain got eight points out of that Palin convention. I forgot about that.

[01:00:37]

Yeah. I mean, I don't know. I can't even say if Donald Trump will get a convention bounce. I just don't know. I don't know either way. I do think just based on all the polling data we've seen, all the research we've seen, like, you know, and I think I've sketched this out before, too.

[01:00:53]

But like, if there's a situation where the number of cases of covid just fall a little bit, there are better treatments, there is faster testing, maybe there is a vaccine that's announced and then people start to turn their attention to the economy, where Trump is for some reason in polls, still trusted over Biden by a little to handle the economy. And so people start focusing on that. And, you know, there's a possibility that Trump makes, you know, as he's trying to pour gas on the fire of a lot of these protests, that he continues to scare away some voters based on that.

[01:01:38]

Right. Like there's we don't know. But there's all these possibilities and it's not hard to see, you know, an eight point lead nationally that Biden has now go down to a six point lead or a five point lead. And then we know that in the swing states, that's means it's an even smaller lead than the national lead. Right. It could go down to two or three points.

[01:01:57]

And so it's like and you have to think about the fact that Hillary Clinton only lost Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan by, you know, 77000 votes in three states. So the idea that Joe Biden four years later would win those states by five, six, like he's up now and some of them is just probably not likely. If Joe Biden won those states by two points or three points, that would be a huge swing from 2016.

[01:02:24]

Everyone should just know that. So absolutely, this race can tighten. And absolutely, Donald Trump can win like he he can win this race. We should all be aware of that. We should have all been aware of that from the beginning.

[01:02:35]

And if you're worried about that, literally the only thing you can do is like get to work, adopt a state, organize, make phone calls, text people to call your friends, talk to everyone and social network, like the only way to deal with this uncertainty that will be in our lives for the next 60 days. And the fear that will come with it is to work our asses off every single day. That's it. That's all we can do.

[01:03:00]

Yeah. I mean, this is going to be a very anxious time and it should be right. Everything's on the fucking line. But channel that anxiety into activism. That's that's what we did in twenty eighteen and it's what we can do now. And if we do that at the same level of the same outcome.

[01:03:16]

OK, when we come back, I will talk to Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Mandelbrot's.

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It's appalled Pudsey America's Broady by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. This election season.

[01:05:10]

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[01:05:32]

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[01:05:38]

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[01:05:52]

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[01:06:00]

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[01:06:10]

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[01:06:19]

I'm now joined by the lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Mandella Barnes. Thanks for being with us. I know you have a lot going on right now, Imman.

[01:06:26]

Appreciate you having me. Give me a chance to talk about what's going on.

[01:06:30]

So state of Wisconsin has launched a criminal investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting. Jacob's father has expressed some doubt about these investigations. What level of confidence do you have in this process and what do you say to people in your state who don't have faith that justice will be done here?

[01:06:51]

Well, it's easy to have doubt any sort of situation, because we've seen it play out before where justice wasn't properly applied, even though there was a clear miscarriage of justice. So, of course, there's a hesitation, the reservation, and that's totally natural. And people in Kenosha, people across Wisconsin have people across the entire country probably feel the same way because we've seen this before. This isn't this isn't some new thing. And it's not like every time there's this instance of violence being carried out at the hands of police officers or white supremacists, that we see the law or justice equally applied to the person on the receiving end, the the black community in general.

[01:07:33]

And so I personally, I am always hoping for the best. I'm a hopeless optimistic in that regard, man, because for you know, for our state, for this community, for this country to begin the healing process that we need to to begin, that we are justice is so long overdue in so many instances.

[01:07:56]

I am hoping for the best outcome and I am calling on the people who are leading the investigation and those who are going to ultimately make the decision, because after the findings of the investigation, that still has to go to the district attorney in Kenosha County. So I am I am very prayerful and hopeful that the right decision will be made.

[01:08:20]

So there's a clip going around of Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth saying at a twenty eighteen press conference, some people aren't worth saving. We need to build warehouses, put these people into it and lock them away for the rest of their lives. Let's stop them from going out and getting 10 other women pregnant. Let's stop being politically correct.

[01:08:37]

How do you even begin to react to a statement like that from a law enforcement official in your state is just all the worst stuff and it speaks to.

[01:08:46]

The culture of policing, and I get it, there are people still and I know police officers personally have friends who are police officers, this speaks to the bigger problem of policing, not any individual good or bad apple. And if there are sheriffs like sheriff that who would be so audacious to say stuff like that, it speaks to the need for us to have an entire culture shift. Policing in America cannot continue the way that it is going right now because there are still people who are in charge who think this way, that there are people who are in charge, who think this way, think about subordinates in police departments across the country, think about their faroud wild ideas about how to handle a population is scary and be very honest.

[01:09:32]

And that is scary. Right, because you take this title, Lieutenant Governor, I'm just another black dude and. Right. I'm thirty three years old, got a couple of tattoos. I'm walking down the street. Who knows how they will handle me. So I think about that every time these instances happen, they take place. Any time you hear something as egregious as what was sure, that's it. And there isn't a package of legislation that's going to change that.

[01:09:58]

There isn't necessarily there isn't necessarily anything that a city council can do. This this this goes back to the need for us to update the reason why people even get into law enforcement. What kind of situations should this person even handle? Imagine this. You go on it. You go into a situation. It's already intense in your frame of mind is that people should be locked up behind bars forever. That means you're so out of touch and you are liable to do anything.

[01:10:27]

And if you feel that you should be the police, judge, jury and executioner, that deciding the fate of these people's lives. Imagine if you don't have faith in the court system that you figure you decide, well, I just take this person's life into my own hands. I'll make the decision. And that's I'm power hungry. A lot of these leaders and law enforcement at far too many officers in general are.

[01:10:51]

So you mentioned obviously a legislative response isn't sufficient, but it's it's where we start. You and Governor Ivar's have called the Wisconsin legislature back into session.

[01:11:01]

What what is in legislative response begin to look like that that might start dealing with some of these issues?

[01:11:08]

Well, that's the thing. It takes everything. There are so many smaller pieces, man. And I was I just got off of the faith call, actually, and I said, we need leaders in the business, community leaders in the faith, community leaders and obviously in politics. But leaders in general, everybody has to step up and play their role when it comes to our legislature. They haven't met in four months. We are in the middle of compounded crises in Wisconsin and they still haven't met.

[01:11:36]

And that speaks to, one, their abdication of responsibilities. They'll look at a fire and say, oh, man, there's a fire. Somebody should really put out that fire. But they have the hose and they don't want to share the hose and that's them not wanting to share their responsibility in governing the state. And so the legislative response, I mean, that is that's a bare minimum. But there is opportunity for us to do something meaningful.

[01:12:01]

We look at Iowa. They unanimously passed their reform package with a Republican legislature and with the Republican governors. So there is literally no excuse for legislators in Wisconsin to sit on their hands. And I'm not going to state legislators in the process because this is the Republican majority, the gerrymandered Republican majority in the legislature that we're talking about here in Wisconsin, who's being completely irresponsible while lives are being lost continuously, whether it's covid-19 or whether it's two lives that were taken because of this white supremacist terrorist drove in Illinois and killed two protesters and injured another.

[01:12:41]

And they are going to continue to sit idly by and not just sit idly by. They're going to be shameful on Twitter about it. That's the worst part. That's the worst part, because they always they point fingers. They blame everything on the administration and they get on Twitter and that's it. As if they don't have the power, as if they don't have sixty three out of ninety nine seats in the assembly, as if they don't have nine, nineteen out of thirty three seats in the state Senate.

[01:13:07]

They have all the ability to change anything that they want to see any law, but they refuse to all blame no responsibility.

[01:13:15]

You, you are, you are on a call with the Milwaukee Bucks last night as they were deciding to strike to to not participate in the game. What was that conversation like with the Bucs?

[01:13:25]

So this is actually after they decided to not go into court. So they were still in the locker room at this point. And this is a team who has been committed to social justice. I had a chance to visit a correctional institution with some members of the players on the books a little bit earlier, several months ago.

[01:13:46]

And we had a real honest conversation with people who were behind bars and they gave their their testimonies about how they ended up there and how they look forward to being better, better, better citizens, being asked to say better, how they look to be more productive citizens once they return and warning people about how to not end up where they ended up in the books. I can't even speak to I can even give them the full credit. That's due to their interactions with what we were there as a part of that visit.

[01:14:20]

But this conversation was one about them wanting to genuinely know what can they do after walking off the court because they didn't want is just to be some symbolic gesture. They didn't just want to walk off the court and that be it, and nothing else happens. And they were genuinely concerned. They asked they said, well, in the last several months, in the wake of George Wallace killing, what's happened was changed. And I say that is a really good question because nothing has changed.

[01:14:49]

And in that time, the legislature still hasn't met. And there have been there been some some number of school districts have voted to remove police officers from schools, things like that. And that's a small piece of the puzzle. And I told them that what we really need to change hasn't happened. And one of the easiest one of the most productive ways we can start is with action with the legislature. But they refused to meet and they kept asking questions.

[01:15:18]

They kept to know how is that normal for them then at me? What what would what would get them to me? And I said, well, it would help if you all called on it, because we have different audiences. I speak to an already politically engaged audience. I have a few people who aren't necessarily that politically engaged. But your audience is completely different. People are going to listen to you and if you put out a call for them to put out a call is going to be a much different response to me doing so.

[01:15:47]

That's good.

[01:15:48]

So Trump in the Republican Party have gone all in on law and order. At their convention this week, they featured a couple from St. Louis who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters.

[01:15:59]

Kellyanne Conway is out of order, which is out of order. Just crazy. So, Kellyanne Conway, this ad this morning, quote, The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order.

[01:16:13]

How much responsibility is Donald Trump bear for what's happening in Wisconsin right now?

[01:16:18]

I'll tell you, man, they want this stuff to happen. They want things to be out of control. They don't want to come to a peaceful solution. They see what's going on and they haven't responded. Like you can look at it, but you can look at people breaking windows. You can look at damage to property. But like I always say, man, this stuff didn't just happen in about people didn't just wake up and decided that this is the way we want to carry out our grievances.

[01:16:40]

It happens because people who have an ability to help improve the living conditions of people in any community, if they had aren't responding to the needs of that community.

[01:16:51]

That's how a community responds. And this comes from years and generations of trauma, of ill representation, of being ignored. And so with Donald Trump in office, he's not solely responsible for it, but he is absolutely the person that's going to carry this sort of chaos to the finish line. And he is willing to wager our democracy and he's willing to wager also a civilized society on his re-election because any, any, any they see this. Their calculus is that any time a window is shattered, that's another vote for Donald Trump.

[01:17:35]

Any time that there is some damage to property, that's another vote being banked for Trump. And that is a dangerous campaign strategy. But they don't care and they have proven that they don't care. Instead of bringing in people who are who are ready to come to the table with solutions, they want to play to the worst parts of society. There is literally no reason that they couple from St. Louis should have been given any sort of speaking engagement, any prime time slot for any major political party.

[01:18:07]

But it just shows that they are willing, again, to campaign on hate and division in any form possible.

[01:18:16]

So The New York Times and Politico this morning both have stories today that, quote, Kenosha residents and Wisconsinites of both parties, different races saying, I do blame me, I do blame me.

[01:18:26]

And that story did well. So, you know, there's there. Oh, yeah, that's right. In The New York Times when I saw that. And so they're either saying it's leading them to vote for Trump or deleting people they know to vote for Trump. Right. The last Marquette poll of the state showed that the approval of Black Lives Matter protest went from sixty one thirty six to forty eight forty eight in August. That was before Kenosha. Made up mostly of white voters changing their minds.

[01:18:50]

What do you make of all this and do you share some of these concerns?

[01:18:56]

So the thing that drove people to Trump, one of the thing that people think that excuse me, Trump used to attract voters was fear in the first place, whether it was fear of immigrants when he came down the escalator. And that was the first thing he talked about.

[01:19:11]

So he's going to continue to use fear. And we can't we can't let that guide us in our decision making because we've always we should be I shouldn't say always, but we should be striving to be on the right side of justice, of fairness and equality. And it is a long and difficult road to get there. So I don't think is I don't think people should consider compromising values, because when you compromise values, you are absolutely compromising people's lives and livelihoods.

[01:19:39]

So it's not responsible for us to try to go down that path. And I've always said and I even got a little bit of trouble two years ago when I said, well, there they're Democrats who voted for Obama. They voted for Trump in twenty sixteen. We may have lost them. We can concede that ground because there are so many people who just didn't show up to vote in twenty sixteen. Those are the people that we need to be communicating with because these are the people who have not been heard.

[01:20:04]

These are the people who truly have not had a voice in our democracy. And I still feel that way. I still feel that this is this is nothing we should ever use for politics, these sort of instances. But we do need to connect it to politics so people know who's making the decisions and who is literally sitting and telling, you know, in your face that you don't deserve justice. No, you don't deserve health care. No, you don't deserve to have fifteen dollars minimum wage and access to a union.

[01:20:30]

No, you don't deserve to have clean air, fresh water to drink. No, you don't deserve everything that we should come to expect as Americans. And that is exactly what Donald Trump and the Republican Party all is the enablers. That is what they are telling the American people. They are saying no to you and your communities. We have to be more effective in communicating that we are on the right side of not just history, but the right side of justice.

[01:20:54]

Also, just to speak about politics, you know how to win in a state that narrowly went for Trump in twenty sixteen, you and Governor Giver's won in twenty eighteen. What piece of advice would you give the Biden campaign for these last sixty eight days in the homestretch?

[01:21:10]

Yeah, the last piece of advice I get to the Biden campaign is we have a we have a base and as as as fickle as some of the voters like you, like you pointed out in The New York Times and political articles, is as fickle as they can be. Sometimes there are people who would never vote for Republicans but would potentially vote for us. And it's about the message. It's about us communicating our need to drive this nation forward, to bring forward the policies that will work to improve the lives.

[01:21:45]

And I think, you know, I do think the Biden campaign has done a pretty solid job, especially considering Iowa to where we are now. But I think that the messages about uplifting Americans in every corner of our society is going to be the most effective way. But it has to be done in a genuinely can't be tokenized and put posted on Twitter today that November 3rd is not a finish line. It's a mile marker, an important mile marker.

[01:22:12]

But we have to continue to organize. And I think that the Biden campaign has to has to do the best job that they possibly can at reaching out to the truly unheard of, unheard and forgotten voters.

[01:22:27]

Lieutenant Governor Mandella Barnes, thank you so much for joining us and thanks for all you're doing at a really tough moment for your state. I appreciate you, man.

[01:22:35]

Things are tough, but this is something we will get through and Wisconsin will be will be stronger on the other end, as tough as these times are. So I appreciate you giving me a chance to talk about this.

[01:22:51]

Thanks to Lieutenant Governor Barnes for joining us today and I guess, well, I guess we'll talk to you guys tomorrow for further post Trump convention speech pod with all of us, with Dan and Tommy and John are going to join us, too, right where we are with a group threatening tonight.

[01:23:06]

So you should watch it with us. That's right.

[01:23:08]

Recapping for you tomorrow, you people cannot get rid of us is what I'm saying, nor can we get rid of the fucking Republican convention. So one more day. One more day. All right. By everyone. But. God Save America is a crooked media production, the executive producer is Michael Martinez, our associate producer is Jordan Waller.

[01:23:32]

It's mixed and edited by Andrew Chadwick. Kyle Soglin is our sound engineer, thanks to Tanya Nominator, K.D. Lang, Roman Papadimitriou, Caroline Reston and Elisa Gutierrez for production support into our digital team, Elijah Konar Melkonian, Yael Friede and Milo Kim, who film and upload these episodes as videos every week.