Time for a Political Smackdown Sunday Political Brunch April 1, 2018

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – We were on the road this week for the West Virginia Broadcasters Association annual meeting and awards dinner. I am proud to report our team came home with the award for Network Long-Form Newscast, for our Sunday public affairs program, “Inside West Virginia Politics.” It’s a network show in that it airs on Nexstar Media’s five TV stations serving West Virginia. Certainly, we have plenty of political news to “brunch” on, too!

“When the ‘Stormy’ Blows Over” – Pardon the pun, but as I have been hinting at over the last few weeks, I don’t think this story has “legs!” I watched Stormy Daniels on “60 Minutes” and have no reason to doubt her story. The networks were all doing follow-up stories this week, but working in a local and statewide news
operation, our focus was on the old adage, “All politics is local.” The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was 20 years ago, and I don’t see a national groundswell to go back down that road again. People I know on both sides of the aisle are just shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Who cares?”

“Time for a Political Smackdown” – Honestly, the best political story of the past week was the veiled threats between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump. At an appearance in Miami, Biden, age 75, told students he’d “beat the hell” out of Trump if the two men were back in high school. Trump tweeted Biden was "crazy" and "weak, both mentally and physically." The president said Biden would "go down fast and hard, crying all the way." Trump, age 71 - as you may recall - has professional wrestling experience though his friend Vince McMahon at the WWE, World Wresting Entertainment. McMahon’s wife, Linda, is Trump’s Director of the Small Business Administration. Seems like a Trump v. Biden pay-per-view fight is in the cards! I’d pay to see that!

“Primary Colors” – Many of us are focusing on the November 2018 elections to see who wins control of both houses of Congress, as well as many governors’ mansions across the nation. But a big precursor to all of that is the spring primary season. May 8th is a date to mark on your calendar, with primary races for U.S.
Senate seats in Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana. All three Democratic incumbents are vulnerable, and despite President Trump’s national unpopularity, it’s possible Democrats could lose all three of these seats, with the GOP gaining overall strength in the Senate. Stay tuned!

“Let’s Roll the Eggs!” – The annual White House Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Monday, April 2nd, the day after Easter. The annual (chaotic) tradition became a permanent thing in 1872 under President Rutherford B. Hayes, but other occasional egg rolls were held dating back to First Lady Dolly Madison (I thought she was best known for inventing snack cakes – just joking folks).

“The Census ‘Counts’” – A big issue flying under the radar right now is the looming 2020 census count across the United States, which determines how many seats are appropriated in each state for the U.S. House of Representatives. President Trump, who is mad about lack of funding for his border wall and the continuation of sanctuary cities, is considering adding a question to the census form about whether respondents are U.S. citizens or not. Because of the prospect of legal action, there are concerns that California, Florida and other states with a high population of illegal immigrants will be undercounted in the census, and lose seats in Congress. The Trump Administration can write the 2020 census questionnaire even though he could also be voted out later that year.

“Go Celebrate!” – Hey, it’s Easter weekend, and it’s Passover, too. So, go eat, pray, and enjoy your families. We’ll get back to all the serious, heavy politics next Sunday!

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is an award-winning political reporter and author. He is now based in Charleston, West Virginia, for the five Nexstar Media TV stations serving the Mountain State. He’s been a political contributor to Patch.com for ten years.

© 2018, MarkCurtisMedia, LLC.

Photo courtesy: The Library of Congress

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