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While hacks in the liberal media were quick to claim no one on their side was politicizing the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), NBC political director Chuck Todd spent a part of Sunday’s Meet the Press musing about how the virus could be President Trump’s version of the Iran Hostage Crisis, where President Jimmy Carter showed such poor leadership the public voted in President Ronald Reagan. Of course, the idea this time was that Trump would get dumped for a Democrat.
Just before a commercial break, Todd was reminded about a conversation he had with Washington Post columnist Matt Bai, who was on the panel. “Matt, you and I were talking about it before the break. What the Iran hostage crisis was to the final year of Carter's presidency, not his fault but it’s a test in real-time. This is what this seems to be for Trump,” Todd suggested.
Bai wholeheartedly agreed and began by lamenting how the public was taking cues from the President’s statements about the outbreak. “It’s one thing when all the Republicans in Washington say, .he says some crazy stuff on tax policy or this or that, but we’ve got it handled,’” he said. “It's a different thing when the President is out there leading publicly in a crisis like this and people are seeing it in real-time, taking their cues from it.”
Expanding on the Carter comparison, Bai surmised that if the outbreak went particularly terribly, then the public will have had enough of Trump’s “chaos” and bring about a “Jimmy Carter-like scenario."