The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Big, BIG Week

Rich Galen

Monday February 3, 2020

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  • This is a big, BIG week.

  • Started last night with the Super Bowl. As the MASN beat reporter for the Washington Nationals, Mark Zuckerman (who routinely gets trolled for having invented Facebook) Tweeted,
    "The 2019 Washington Nationals and Kansas City Chiefs combined to go 8-0 in elimination games and came from behind to win all of them."

  • That moves directly into the Iowa Caucuses tonight. Keep in mind one of the major differences between watching the results of an election and of a caucus is this: The caucuses BEGIN at 7:00 PM central time. In elections, we talk about what time the polls CLOSE.

  • If you live anywhere east of the Mountain time zone, we may well not know the answer to "Who won Iowa" until tomorrow.

  • Or, Wednesday.

  • Keeping in mind that until a little after 7 PM on election night in 2016 I still thought Hillary Clinton was going to win, I am out of the prediction game.

  • Tuesday night is State of the Union night.

  • I had a long discussion with a national reporter last week about how I would advise Donald Trump to approach this speech.

  • I said I would have the writers allow him to take a victory lap. The economy. Unemployment. Job Growth. Stock market. Expected Impeachment acquittal in the Senate. In fact, the official White House web page lists 51 such achievements.

  • They are all real.

  • But, Trump being Trump will (a) take credit for things he had nothing to do with, and/or (b) invent victories that never happened.

  • More than that, he will not be able to go off-script and riff about the Iowa results, take shots at individual House Democrats and generally make many Americans cringe as they watch the hour-or-so performance.

  • That only gets us to Tuesday night.

  • On Wednesday the Senate is likely to vote to acquit Trump of both impeachment charges which will cause another flurry of Tweets from the White House.

  • By Wednesday the Iowa results will be known and processed. Those who finished in the top five will have already made five appearances in New Hampshire. Those who did not live up to expectations will have gone home.

  • Thursday, New Hampshire will attract the full attention of the Political Class with a series of Town Halls sponsored by CNN and the release of a flurry of pre-election poll to be sliced and diced by everyone with an internet connection.

  • On Friday, there will be an official Democratic Debate - the last that will exclude former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The debate will be hosted by ABC and will be held at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH.

  • This will be in advance of the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday.

  • Bloomberg has, according to the NY Times, spent over $200 million through the end of 2019, but because it was all of his money, he didn't qualify for the debates under the DNC's minimum fundraising rules.

  • The DNC simply changed the rules and invited Bloomberg who will take a lecturn in Nevada later in the month.

  • And, of course, Sunday will mark the Academy Awards (also on ABC) rounding out a pretty busy week for the first week in February.

  • The next week isn't a slouch, either. In addition to the New Hampshire primary (which will further reduce the Democratic field) the show will move west to cover the Nevada caucuses and begin to plot coverage for the South Carolina primary which will be a week later.

  • The best thing about having to be in Nevada before South Carolina is those private planes that may want to carry candidates to a quick fly-around in California prior to the March 3 primary there (and about 13 other states for Super Tuesday).

  • Why? Because the planes can go directly from Las Vegas to just about anywhere in California. If they were trying to get there from South Carolina nearly all of them would need to build a refueling stop into the schedule.

  • For those who are keeping track, 28 of the 30 Major League Baseball teams open their Spring Training camps with pitchers and catchers reporting on February 12 or 13. The Dodgers open on the 14th and the Cincinnati Reds will have their first players report on the 15th.

  • Finally, remember that this is a leap year so February doesn't end until Saturday the 29th.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the White House Trump accomplishment page, to Bloomberg's spending, and to the Spring Training Schedule of all 30 teams.

    The Mullfoto is of our Super Bowl Dinner last night.

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