John’s back! And Obama back’s Biden. Ep 120 0 Speaker 1: (00:00)This is the Thomas guide your roadmap for navigating the world with your guide. John Thomas, political savant, world-class analyst and culture critic. No need to Google directions. Just buckle up and enjoy the ride. This is the Thomas guide with your host, John Thomas. Speaker 2: (00:25)Yes, believe it or not, I’m back from hiatus and boy do we have a lot of politics to catch up on too. You’re not to want to miss it in this episode of the Thomas guide. It’s great to be back Speaker 2: (00:43)long. It lasts. I’m back. I know it’s been, gosh, I want to say it is almost been maybe a month or more since I’ve done my last podcast. I’m sorry, but you’re not going to believe what has transpired. I’ve got a pretty good excuse for being Mia for a little bit, so first of all, great to be back. Secondly, don’t worry, still been following politics. The podcast will live on. I’m not, I haven’t gone anywhere. I did have to take a hiatus. It feels really good to be back. And I hope everyone is safe and enjoying their quarantine. And I know I’ve gotten so many emails and texts, not so nice emails and not so nice tweets about bye hiatus. Mmm. Some are flattering, some are not. Mmm. I get it. I disappeared, uh, without reason and I’m going to explain for the first time, I think in any broadcast medium where I went, well, it’s a long story, but, uh, in another company, a well good friend of mine and a business colleague of mine, uh, decided to do essentially drop everything we were doing when we saw the crisis, uh, that there was no PPE available here in the United States, particularly for our first responders and healthcare professionals. Speaker 2: (02:15)And we just couldn’t understand why that was. Why was the government not supplying it? Why was private industry not getting it there? Why were the, why would the States or the counties not able to procure this PPE for people who need it so badly? And we realized that I actually had some very good relationships with quite a few PPE manufacturers all over the world, domestically and elsewhere. And so we quickly put together an organization called blue flame. And, uh, we, I believe are now one of the largest, if not the largest supplier of Covin 19 supplies are PPE to our first responders and healthcare professionals in the world. Focusing heavily on the United States and making sure that we say no to no one. Uh, we, there’s obviously we can’t supply all the PPE, the, the, the country needs, but, uh, we’ve think we’re supplying well over 25 States now. Speaker 2: (03:21)Numerous, numerous health care agencies, dozens and dozens of first responders. Uh, and the stories are heart wrenching and all regale you with, with a few of those, uh, in the moment. Um, one was, I got a call, I want to say maybe two days into doing this and it was from a chief of staff of a small hospital in a small town in Tennessee. And she was essentially virtually in tears because she called, I don’t know how she got my number. And she was saying that the nurses and doctors are wearing trash bags because they’ve run out of gowns. They can’t find any gowns. No one has the state’s not answering. Ah, they’re your usual suppliers, don’t have anything. And uh, she was saying that, look, if, if my nurses and doctors get sick or, or a couple of them get sick, all of them will get sick. Speaker 2: (04:22)And if this goes this, that means the whole hospital goes down and we’re the only hospital in this town. And it just struck me in that moment that this is really important work. There’s nothing more important. So I’ve literally been working 2122 hour days, seven days a week offer the last several weeks since the podcast has gone dark. And I simply did not have an ounce of time or energy to do the podcast. And it broke my heart because I love doing this and I love talking to you and you know, I love politics and yes, my other company, Thomas partners strategies is still alive and well. We have lots of clients, but I had to delegate all that work to my staff. So we could focus on making sure that we get the PPE to the people who need it most, which is our first responders and healthcare professionals. Speaker 2: (05:12)So in a nutshell, that is what we’ve been doing and now what we’re doing is helping States and agencies understand there’s a lot of, uh, there’s a lot of bad actors right now going on in this marketplace and you know, fraudulent inventory, price gouging, all these horrendous things, which is the last thing you should be doing in a crisis. And it’s exact opposite of what our company blue flame was started to do. So we’ve literally written a manual and we’ve pass it out to every state agency that we come into contact with too. Teach them how do you properly procure PPE and how to know when you’re dealing with a price gouger or how, you know, when you’re dealing with a bad manufacturer or a bad reseller or a bad broker, how to know whether you’re not, you’re getting a fair price. All of these things I’m now an expert on, so we’re trying to do our part still drinking from a fire hose. Speaker 2: (06:16)I’m still working probably 21 hour days, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Had to get back to the podcast because I miss you guys. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I hope you’ll give me a pass just for a few weeks. Uh, but I’m getting back into it. I’m going to try my best, um, to do this every day. Can’t promise during this pandemic that I’ll be able to do it every day. But I will try my best. I certainly will do it multiple times a week. And then after the code crisis is over, I’ll get back into the rhythm of it, making sure I do it every single. Yeah. So let’s get back to politics. Boy, what did, what a fascinating, tragic but fascinating time in politics. Um, so much has transpired. I can’t even go back in time. So what I’m going to say is if there are things that I’ve missed, and certainly there’s been quite a bit, some people say, what was there, it was there. Speaker 2: (07:15)Even a presidential, is there even a presidential campaign going on right now given the larger narrative of the coronavirus. And that’s a fair point. We’ll get into that in a second. But there has a primary season has still marched on. There’s been quite a few things. And so if there’s something that’s a particular interest, you can tweet me at the Thomas guide, go to the Thomas guide.com or write me on Facebook, send me a note, carrier pigeon smoke signals, however you want to do it. And I will get through and try to address your comments because I can’t go back and relive history. But of course if there’s something you’re have of interest, I’ll get to it. Okay, so first, is there a presidential campaign going on? Yes, there is. In fact, just yesterday, Obama finally came out and endorsed Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders dropped out a few days ago and Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden. Speaker 2: (08:13)So effectively the primary is over. Now there’s rumors out there that mine’s not going to be the nominee that could be Cuomo from governor of New York. We’ll get into that in another podcast. There’s a very slim chance of that happening. Uh, but I don’t think Biden is a particularly strong nominee now. Was Biden. It’s amazing how quickly things turn. It looked inevitable that Bernie was the nominee for a little bit. And then after South Carolina, that was it. Math just simply wasn’t there for anybody. But Biden, uh, once a field started consolidating around Biden, it just was nearly impossible for anybody to stop him. So, and then when the [inaudible] 19 hit, it really shifted away from Bernie Sanders perceived strength and went to the calm, stable leadership and experience of being vice president. Joe Biden claimed that he had, I think we can argue about what he actually did or didn’t do, but certainly do a democratic electorate. Speaker 2: (09:13)It played more to his strengths than Bernie Sanders strength, who had never done anything in his entire career elect, uh, from, uh, being a Senator. So it just was the kiss of death. The only reason Bernie Sanders could stay alive is because he had a mailing list. Right. He had a large email donor database that he could keep feeding or he, he eating on to keep his campaign alive. But it just, there was no path there. Now with that said, Biden isn’t a strong Novany, he just choked out. Bernie Sanders, I’m, this is held up in a bunker because he’s an at risk population of the coven 19 virus. He’s been doing yep. Webcasts instead of rallies. And so the problem, and this is no fault of his own, but the problem with all of that is campaigns are about fundamentally projecting leadership and strength and competence. And when you’re retreating in a bunker, just you’re not projecting that strength and confidence of people that they would look to you in times of crisis to be a leader, to get them through. Speaker 2: (10:16)Mmm. When you are become missense Lee, the inevitable nominee, one of the benefits is you get a fundraising machine together in person events, rallies, all of these things that come with being the inevitable nominee I did, hasn’t been able to enjoy any of those things. So it, it is particularly challenging for Biden to get that momentum. So essentially what’s going on right now is Biden is going to live or die. Why? How Trump is perceived to have handled the Corona virus crisis. And I say perceived because he can actually handle it one way or another. But people’s perceptions are the reality. If he, even if he [inaudible] the handling, but people rally around the flag and they give him credit, well that’s good enough. Vice versa. Even if he does a pretty good job and I think he has, I’m happy to go through that in another podcast hasn’t been perfect. Speaker 2: (11:09)I think Brian large has done a good job, um, the media and others or trying to shift public’s perception to say that he isn’t handling it well. So it really comes down to public perception, not actually what’s going on. It’s hard to, it’s amazing to harken back to just a few weeks ago to think that we were in an impeachment time. It’s like impeachment. That’s so far the rear view mirror. Do you think it’s going to affect anyone’s lens as we go into November? Probably not. And the other question is what are we going to be talking about in November? How are elections going to be held? Most experts think that we’re going to see a second wave. Like we did the Spanish flu as we go into November in the cold months because the virus in cold climate that it’ll kind of die off in the hot summer months and come back around November. Speaker 2: (11:59)Well that’s right around election time. So what is that both due to the top of mind discussion of what voters care about and think about what does it do to our voting habits. One example of how campaigns have absolutely change, whether you’re running for president or dog catcher is field, door to door knocking is dead. Even if the quarantine and when the quarantine gets lifted, good luck getting anybody to open up the door to have an exchange with you. There are no rallies getting a house warming. Parties are are done. So we’re shifting towards, we’re using all of the tools that we’ve used for years using digital tele, town halls, zoom meetings, all of these things, texting campaigns, and we’re just more, we’re shifting budget and relying much more heavily on that. So it’s not so much that we’re creating these new tools, it’s just we’re shifting away from in-person and we’re going much more towards a digital touch as well as advert paid advertising because that’s always been effective and will remain effective. Speaker 2: (13:04)So campaigning has changed. So that hurts campaigns that rely heavily on ground games, down tickets. So, uh, unions, for instance, our habit always bring an advantage to their candidates because they have union employees who will go out and knock doors. So they have an army of field canvassers, not so much right now. Now they can convert those detecting campaigns and others, but it’s still not the same weaponized approach of just shoe leather that they once had. So this is a challenge. The other challenge is for campaigns is we are likely in a economic depression right now. Trump’s main strength prior to coven 19 was the economy. No longer does the economy bounce back to full strength or does it limp along out of a depression? I have a feeling it rebounds to some degree, but nowhere near back to the same strength. There’s been too much damage that’s been done to quickly rebound and I don’t think Americans are going to, their, their user behavior is going to be there. Speaker 2: (14:09)Their human behavior is going to be different. We’re not going to see once he opened up NBA and NFL games the same level of record attendance because people aren’t going to want to be next to people. We’re not going to, uh, if you the a normal busy restaurant that might be busy on a, on a Saturday night, the restaurant to ease concerns of patrons, whether it’s fair or not, may put fewer tables in the rooms so that they can be spaced out further apart from one another. Well, that reduces overall revenue. All of this has a chain reaction on the economy. So even if confidence and optimism is high, I think you’re going to just see a slow rebound, not to mention defaults and all these other things. What effect does that have on president Trump? It’s good, but do voters give them a pass because they feel that this was, he did a good job of handling the crisis and it was beyond his control or does it breed contempt in the same contempt that Trump capitalized to get on and to ride it off as the first place? Speaker 2: (15:05)We don’t know yet. So what am I doing on campaigns? Instead of doing a benchmark poll and then doing polling every few months, we’re polling at least once a month, but in some of my really top races, we’re pulling every single week starting now so that I go watch that evolution of public opinion to better speak to the concerns and fears and anxieties, what the electorate cares about. So it’s a wild time to be in, in a, in campaigns and if you’re Joe Biden, you feel completely powerless. You have to plaster that fake smile on and hope for the best. You hope. Literally Biden, I think he’s a decent person, don’t know him, but I think he’s a decent person, but he, he’s rooting in his heart, in his core for Trump to fail at handling the COBIT 19 crisis. Because that’s the only way Joe Biden gets did defeats Donald Trump. So it’s, it’s a wild ride. That’s my brief overview. I’ve got to get back to work. Got a lot to do before the night’s over, but it was great talking. Thank you for hanging in with me. Hope everyone is safe and your family as well. Now’s a good time as ever to consume podcasts. Since we’re all locked down, I’ll catch you tomorrow on another episode of the Thomas guide.