Transcript for FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: How COVID-19 is -- and isn't -- changing politics
Hello and welcome to the 530 politics podcast I'm dealing drew the spread of cold in nineteen has continued to up and American life. According to an BBC news poll late last week's 72% of Americans are canceled or postponed aspects of their daily life because of the virus. That's compared to just 26%. When we last convened at the Monday both swore. 80% of Americans now say that they are concerned that they or someone they know will be exacted. So this is something that is affecting practically. Every want and today you're gonna ask how politics is responding. And why Americans think of those responses so far. Roles are gonna discuss how the virus is reshaping the 20/20 election more broadly and here agreed to do that our editor in chief Nate Silver Hannity. I Dylan heroin. And it also announced this year politics writer Clara Malone good to have you back when asked declare he feels good to be here. Awesome and ultimately has is managing editor Mike a current and got everybody so. Initially president trump downplaying the threat of the corona virus along with other Republican politicians. And Oxnard is so Claire how of the politics of the corona virus response changed. Now that it's actually up and it is so much of American wife from coast to coast across you know people in different political beliefs etc. Well you know I think it's it's really hard to say what the long term. Politics of current and buyers are going to be right now I think we're in this really. Incredibly odd few hints of American life is an understatement. And I am so you know we've seen the president basically in the past week kind of change the way he talks. About the severity of of the crisis but kind of back and forth flip flopping you know he's he's been treating some stuff today about old. Fifteen more days of sort of you know. This really is severe sort of shelter in place kind of stuff but then after that we'll assess you know maybe maybe will be something different and he calls. The virus you know sort of an obvious racial slur her racial baiting he calls it the Chinese virus to me that something that'll will probably see. Throughout the general election campaign even if you know that's the stuff. It is calm down pilots say the late summer early fall. But I really think we're still kind of watching this stuff emerge and we're gonna talk about this but there's stimulus package under debate right this is this is. An unprecedented thing because it is both a pandemic. Am a collective action that this country hasn't really had to take its since you know. I would World War II you know it's the really big thing but then also this. Crazy huge economic crisis that is in some ways more you know more easily graph school in 2008 because we don't know why the economy stalling because we can't. Got my things or do things. So I'm I'm still really sort of waiting to see what the political facts arc sitting it's easy to say oh trump this will hurt trumps. Adam. You know standing in all that but on the other hand since the dark about a lot in this podcast Adam over the years partisanship is really strong. When people are scared. You know politics can take Arnett up. Sometimes unexpected. Tilts so along rambling answer to say. Now given. My don't want zero susteren our our politics has changed aren't up last week hurt here that that says you know spread and become more serious. Yet I think Claire's Claire's notes that were on the at the beginning is the right frame for this I mean we've talked about this on the podcast before but. Because the story and the virus. Are both moving so quickly. I'm pulling his summit of a lagging indicator that said you know. To me than notable. Shifts in kind of political public opinion and have been. Not surprisingly at all a big up take a big uptick in the share of people who are saying they're very concerned about this right. Also the notably a few are ample polls have shown. And uptake in their share of Americans say they approve of the way trump it is quite handling corona virus right so. Further liked the first fees or so of this story. Trump's marks on corona virus specifically basically matched his overall approval rating which is to say he was under water right low forties approved. Low to mid fifties disapprove. A few polls out recently basically show the reverse of that low to mid fifties approve. Low forties disapprove. Will that stick I don't really have any idea. But it it it is notable community now at the same time sorry just I'm distraught and all that's out there. The other shift we've seen is. A big jump in the share of Americans who say they're concerned about the economy or their economic outlook is negative. So that we you have all this changes and in that polling data and yet trumps approval rating. Is basically the same. I'm. You know there have been a game anything even ticked up slate. Well I I yeah I wouldn't believe in ascribe much meaning to to that you know it's like taking down a bit nuts picking up a bit and it's like. It's basically not moving. Let me jump in here one of the themes of corona virus and it feels like a theme of the news a lot of time in at Neiman. Some of the things we cover where we're looking at things over the long term Islam kind of short red data that may be lacking to some degree is like this is really early. In this crisis. It's really really early. Really early. And nothing that you can say a witness backed and it's really early. And you can. Twist and turn the date in different ways I think differently Palestinian thing. What we know is that most the time. When there is a severe economic downturn. And its harmful for an incumbent president. That much window. Number two we know there's very likely to be severe economic downturn. Mercury. A couple of months at a minimum and there is dispute about how quickly recover our deep it would be how much bounce back you might have. In the second half the year and it depends not just on the economy but also understood what a second wave. Of disease that we occur which is something a lot of epidemiologist think is quite possible. Mom. You know. Number three is. Oftentimes when you have. Eighty crisis. This actually. Seen a bounce for grew rings for leadership there. Cinnamon and Italy read our response has been troubled write it like Conte his approval rating has gone up a lot. Even though they've got a lot of. Sows that you need as a way to read it that says well prospering is flat roughly at seems bearish it means that he's not giving this rally around like bounce. And look at bush after 9/11 where a very long series of events in response to it in Iraq. And whatever else eventually led to be very unpopular after a period of time and so you know I don't think you can like. I'm. I know I mean our economy too much of it cheap analogy but it's like you see things in the distance and like. And they're gonna have an effect in anyone had the effect that we predict right but like if you have negative. 15%. Annualized GDP grew up a second quarter. That's probably gonna have. An effect on people and we're now appoint. Win here. Probably lot of people are gonna know people who have corona virus they're gonna know people who are sick from it they're gonna meaning those people who die from it. Again no a lot of people who economically at Dubai and went affected by this means so Mike. Oh I don't really find. The polls that interest thing in in the short run in their debates about like how much does the lumber and apply. People give trump a break because its corona virus that's not his fault well I don't know you now. I think you can argue not like it's. May be Morgan's ball in the average recession. You could argue against that people who make those arguments against the also a lot of advertising from the democratic nominee is urgently Joseph Biden right. You know kind of all these ominous seem like. Web sites are not personally took part in their biggest earth like appears on the calendar kicking off all the times and terms that is serious compared against the actual it is an apartment. I think news break distant it's with you know to reiterate what I said before I got this I got this email from my friend Ben and I think he phrased it so well at what. Where we are the crisis he he lives in California so. He's obviously you know in a some a place to New York. But he said I feel like we're standing on the beach right now looking out at a big tidal wave that's about to break over us and all we can do is go air and look for someone something to hang on to him I think the next two weeks are going to be really bad. And I you know not to be. I think that's true and I think what's what's also interesting to watch with trump and we know with this this podcast to sort of a test. With the presidential race for also seeing sort of the interstate and you know most basic four and this sort of basic structures of the US government sort of the states vs the federal government is coming into play in this crisis and really interest in ways. IBC Andrew Cuomo. You know governor wind breaker the guy who loves to hold a press conference is. Really seen I think as a a major national figure even though he's just running your response her. For New York State. East side you know Mike DeWine in Ohio mean Ohio isn't as bad as New York senator take a little bit of back seat but his really. He and then and the help director of the state heard of really taking drastic action in canceling the primaries things like back. You seen this interesting. Rising prominence of governors. Which acts I've challenged it just really really fascinating. And I think. The way that played out over the next few weeks could also be interesting I mean. Trump obviously has Adam. Has authorized some sort of the defense production act straight album which is is basically gives you know. The government a bit of leverage with the with US industries. Needing to produce a good needed supplies like and 95 respirator masks things like that. So so trump certainly has ways to sort of be the wartime president that he you know I think sort of suits his his personality and then sort of mythology about himself very well. But it but it is there are so many moving parts it mean you know two weeks ago I couldn't have imagined. What we're talking about you know so it's it's it's good to keep that perspective. Yes how does that tension between the state governments and governor is in particular and the federal government and president trucks square like is that just how federalism works or is it more that governor is our sailing in avoid that in any other administration would be seldom by the chief executive of the United States the president. I mean we have. A federal system where things our are Iran. Colonel system which they were things are our devolved we have a lot of power which states and localities on them. Which in some places did by the way. As you can imagine that if tropic control over all of this. At states would not be taking such aggressive measures and and and he's to be a lot worse potentially. Ominous some extent it's probably good to have. Responsiveness that varies from state to state in the county in a locality. Armed I think that may be more important dole and we are on the other side of the title oh. Because clearly for example you're gonna have it. On the worst in some areas and others in different cycles and victories in different era times. His interest in light of this that like a few governors were major factors in democratic campaign. I wonder be different campaign happening next year instead. But look com. I think they biggest problem. Justice he let the public policy standpoint it's like the inconsistency in what prompt. Yes this all. Ad hoc Wright as his are hard decision. Com. These are hard decisions. I think there's consensus you have to shut everything down as much as possible. War a few weeks. Everywhere right beyond that I think it's not entirely clear her. When it's Smart and sensible to open things back up it's not entirely clear. We check in these are more dangerous than others. Not entirely clear how you manage. Trade offs that occur and for how long rights and there are like lots of things to debate actually armed. But if it is critical that yeah go head yet mean to me it's it's pretty obvious that. The reason why got the white governors have sort of stepped in to them into I I would say somewhat of the void. Is that a they just are executives and right like they're in charge of of shutting down things in their states. But. Like if quello does briefings with. Social distancing in place trump has been having these briefings first in the Rose Garden now in the white house press room where. You know everyone standing behind him and that social distancing rate and you've got you've got Tony found she. Kuo who I think is. You know probably the most visible national. Medical figure in all of this you know kind of cringing at the way trump is is talking at the stuff so there is this politicization. That I think makes. I think the bench you know trump is putting health experts out there. But it takes that much longer to put health pecks experts out there and there's that much more mixed signal again I'll point back to this morning's tweets from him saying. Giving giving the impression that perhaps in fifteen days will be assess. Now every single medical professional. Epidemiologist health experts statistician would every want to say he's very realistic than fifteen days. It probably won't be federal be much worse rates so so there is this I think. Democratic and Republican governor seemed to be reacting. In very similar way is. Which is. Not particularly. Partisan you know we can to its a different it's a different story on Capitol Hill but. I think there's something of a debate amongst Democrats right now over our. Whether it be shared in this moment -- this crisis is unfolding its. Continued to criticize the president. In specific ways about how they're dissatisfied with his response you've seen some governor is Judah Morgan others you've seen some political figures just in general due to remarks. Then owners or if they should just try to work with him at the moment. Andy deal when this all after the fact and craft our message once it's behind us. You know doesn't like a really. I think crude political discussion to be having. But clarity you send us before politics is crude and this is the question you know democratic strategists at least are asking themselves so what's the answer. Well there's a certain amount of misinformation correction that has to be done both Byron public and I think. Or people within the trump administration but all but also by a Democrats but of course you know this is like a time when. Democrats wants to be capitalizing on. Aren't you scared that the sky is in the White House this guy who's you know. Who has has denied things tonight science tonight whatever rate like that's that's certainly. A political thing to catch on I mean I think we're about to Wear a recording this it's about 12 PM on Monday this. You know there's some votes that are going to be happening today on Capitol Hill that we you know who knows by this evening we could see. We could see all the sort of angry back and fourths that work we're all very used to from from Capitol Hill about this this. River calling at Eilat stimulus pop up alive means Adam. Ed in that sense it's very the Adam. I saw I saw some people sort of pointing back to 2008. Mile too young to remember this in vivid detail. Hum but there was I don't call me out. I am pretty you know in 08 I you know a lot of a lot of more Liberal Democrats let's say. Smeltz and that's the or almost you know losses in in the sort of manner of the Patriot Act before it or the war the vote to go into Iraq. That they were sort of bullied by this moment of national unity rally around the flag be a patriot kind of thing and and except did packages that were ultimately perhaps too forgiving to big business in the case 2008 and that's what you're gonna see over the next day you're too. Is is congressional Democrats saying. Well you know your art seeing the term trump slush fund sloshing around right. To the eight to the idea of listen I'm no economist at. Hi Ben Kass. When from the New York Times tells Clinton to do. But. The idea that there will be massive unemployment is probably not but controversial thing to say. The idea that small businesses. Are closing. The idea that that you know so there will there Willie B worker protections that there's a gig economy that now exists that didn't really exist in 2008 to there's even more. Workers about a safety net. There are some real thing sit to consider about our particular moment in. Society in the economy and and some of those things are advantageous for democratic policy ideas and we having gotten into the universal basic income thing that's been. Moved into the mainstream and throwing so. Like when it when I'm like. Let me push back on is they do you think in some ways I wouldn't put it the way that. This put it. Com. Can say with. Fairly high confidence that. Com. In two weeks. From now the decision that most people probably recommend most experts will not be OK everything. I'm going go back to normal now it'll probably be. Maybe not right but like. But you know we do our people be evidence driven there are a lot of victories. Ranging from very bad to very very very very catastrophically bad that this thing could take but those are differences that are pretty important. Com. And so you know we do need kind of flexibility. Or policy makers. You can't just kind of stability on the calendar. And say here's win you acts right. There are too many variables to me a note it's likely differ from region to region. I think America asked think about things where things even. In the best case version that we have to do mean even the best its version we have to. Shut. Things down now. Get the number call are zero to the reproduction number how many people like you would if I get sick you know if I give it two and half people what you can cut my contacts my cute. We need a lot more tests it part of the short run and the media running answer sure to get people who are sick has actually improved a lot of the past week. Indian alarm because its way to get back to normal now right we're now on the I feel sick I have. A flu like symptoms well not yet tested. Faster and know that put people on the Everest the my. Required to self quarantine or whatever else currently need that. And we need to radically increase I think hospital capacity. That puts in a much better placed to deal with. With the downside scenario is already a very -- problem. In New York in particular. And we need economic policies that. On how to ensure that short term problems so become permanent problems. You know I have not seen all the details of every planet of policy is still negotiating it seems like. Small businesses do not operate on as long a margin businesses like bars and restaurants and retail stores com. It's a little bit worrying to meet others and a lot of focus on and on businesses as opposed airlines and and and cruise ships. And whenever else right. Because those are places that I'm a closed while you're gonna have a lot of bankruptcies. You're gonna have a lot of unemployment. Well they might take a long time to kind of come back right and so so I don't know. But yet. Either way it is like this is at this isn't quite know who it was some sort of partisanship discussion that we're talking about. But I just feel like I need to say it somewhere when all of the one thing that that that could affect you know long term. American views on politics and and we know that post 2008. Starting in early two thousands. He Americans trusts in various institutions. Plummeted. In addition to all of the factors that Nate is named I mean. We have a we have a huge shortage are necessary hospital equipment. I was on the phone three days ago with of a very good friend of mine who's an ER doctor. Who's you know. Doing this he said we don't we know we're not wearing any of their it equipment. Right I've you know friends who are public health investigators to don't have the right equipment investigating the stuff. Some of that is because states and federal government riddled prepared for that's right. And when you step back province it's not going to be just a trump problem right it you can't blame everything on the trump administration's some of this is going to be Americans taking a look at. What are the things that happened. Years in the past that made it so that we the united seats in America. The you know shining city on the hill rate. Are. Wildly on prepared for this crisis from a from a medical point of view and so this has occurred with you can point in the last. The fiddle with in the drug administration lets elvis'. Kind of classic. Government government bureaucracy. Gone a little that Iraq and I think that that's the kind of staff that. Seats into a nation's psyche long term and make some say yikes isn't the base sick you know fundamental. Enlightenment air idea about democracy in this kind of government that we all have a social contract and that. I'm the government's first and foremost job is to protect us and is a protecting us and I think that's against the than reading go into the idea partisanship but it goes and the idea of how will this. Dual crisis. Changed America's political psychology and forward. Yana I think we have seen in crises past in American history that. Assessing the damage and end fighting their way forward the social contract of America has been reexamined and and re imagined and sometimes that only happens if something does cloud across partisan lines if people if whatever the crisis as supersedes all the tribalism and Mike are enough people can come together to. Back you know a new set of policies is on guard Alex Magee you mentioned it that kind of things were a little bit shifting potentially across partisan lines. In the polling in favor of trucks meet do you see any. Scenario here in the short term Wear a light. Partisanship is just kind of set aside and there is some broad consensus about what should be done. There's no evidence of that yet I mean that could happen to you know what Claire said at the top of the chateau. And they emphasized we're at the very beginning of this but if any thing. The polling so far and and behavior of congress so far shows that politics doesn't stop right. So trumps approval hasn't changed. Dead marks trump is getting for his handling of corona virus has gone up but not that much like probably that's. Some Republican shift Yang made a little movement among independents right. But I think I think it's a little. I did I look I think to say. That the pattern we've seen we have him in recent years is that. You know there is. Friends of the site John sides and there's another political scientist Robert Griffin who wrote this further loss impose that like. You know under Obama and and under trumped we saw that presidential approval ratings. Became increasingly divorced from. The real world performance of the economy right that doesn't mean they're totally divorced right but more so then than in past years. Will that hold if we're. Mike Great Recession Great Depression. I have no idea Mike my actual test would be no right. But is it meaningful that normal pop normal partisan allegiances are holding so far. Keep a mine so far is that like a normal like. Post some much ado about nothing political scandal. Or you then something. Really serious. Like child separation right. This is the entire economy. And people's lives grinding to a halt and today there hasn't really been a shift in Trump's approved rating. Again that doesn't mean there won't be one later. And it doesn't mean to what you're talking about dale and that. If if there if this gets much worse. That you know those partisan lines could be broken and maybe we will see a long term shift. But I think it's a little silly to be like. Well given the long term uncertainty. We can't learn anything about what's happened to date to me it's actually. Really meaningful. Slightly depressing. That you have this case where this virus. This pandemic starts. In administration totally bundles the response. And there's not really a shift in how the public. Decent I mean that doesn't mean there won't will be there won't be long later but like. You know we've certainly learned more about how the public will respond in a situation like we have now. Again that doesn't mean they won't respond differently. In a different situation later gotten it. Then you had kind of slow growth. Of around 2% of GDP after that look you know variation in the data. Then you can't test the response variable. This would be a good test for trumpet so far during crops economy also been pretty steady until now and so I don't think they'll like. Looking at just one and a half data points meaning a bomb. We usually have anything to tasks and then from where until now you imminently to test I don't think it's necessarily meaning Ole. Yeah I I I agree with that I I certainly we have not got a test as I said of like re year old. Downturn. You know a really painful downturn or for that matter like a crazy. Booming economy although the economy was doing well on to trump. For his first couple years. But I get look at the reason I'm maybe I subscribe to little more to that research than you do natives just because like. It's not like it's this had earned. Without any. Theoretical. Explanation for right there's a pretty simple and persuasive. Reason to believe that the economy would have less an effect on kind of. I read something which is which is that if this is an unprecedented crisis of dual pandemic and economic. The nature. Maybe we should throughout the assumption that the economy is the only huge indicator right if millions of Americans die. In the next few months. Sorry but I think that that's also like a kind of unprecedented thing that could shift things here and there. And while this is a huge economic story I would again point to it like. It's a huge health story. It's a huge job and X essential story and I at night. And I don't know what that translates into is you know as far as like com presidential elections but I think Warren we're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy. I didn't it's important when they're background here that I don't think it's a grace is that right now. Trump trails. Biden by seven weeks or so in in the average national poll. Room which is enough. Or Biden to overcome many electoral power to Saddam's. In so it's not like we're talking about a case weird. Over the polls say one thing but economic policy something else right now talking about not a case where part of the polls only model says trampled lose. By march and about like. McCain lost nearly two Obama. Although not as the largest electric car to commit you know by pretty big margin. And on economic models probably sink it also lose. A kind of where you hang your hat on now from a forecasting SharePoint say that trump is a favorite. Or even. Reading 5050 necessarily. You know because the whole theory is that well are prob isn't doing great right now but the economy will save him. Well O. You know I did clerical opens are predictable. It nearest areas where. Weird things get back to normal. Sooner than people think that expectations are so bad I don't think it's most likely path right there's a lot we don't know that we have to respect uncertainty and all sides right. Com. But there's not looking very Linear. Argument you can dropper white. Why trump is in great shape right he's behind today he's not. Terribly popular. And you know it's a little bit less clear how things might get better hour. First of all trumps approval rating remember is not high to begin with so the fact that it's remained steady. Doesn't bode well for him right. You know it certainly it hasn't worsened but but where trump has now you know maybe he may be straight approval. Senate reelection chances model would put him close to 5050 but he certainly not popular right. But the other thing is just that the clearest point about. Unprecedented nature of the situation wherein. And therefore. You know maybe economy isn't and main factor in how people are are evaluating the president the other thing I wonder about. You know building off of that is whether. You know let's say there has been this you know. Divorce between economic performance and trump approval is or presidential corporal is there are. Do we start to see separation between presidential approval. And voting. Right. I'm not look I'm I'm like totally speculating here but I do wonder a little bit whether our. Presidential approval do you distant do you approve or disapprove of the job performance trump is doing or whatever. If that's become such such. Loaded question at such a marker of a just peace partisan Chet. That I wonder little bit whether there are a lot of voters out there who would answer that approve. Basically just saying like listen I'm a conservative Palmer public can. That's all that means to them but would in turn out for trump in a general election or vote for third party or whatever right. This again that's totally speculative but I do you think like the more into uncharted waters begat the more we have to be like okay desist. They'll meanwhile we think to me yeah I think that is a really good point that clay animated regulate you reiterated if a large part of the reason that we focus on the economy so much is because it's a measurement it's. How out. Basically secure American steel and how optimistic they feel about their futurists then kind of health and feeling like you're not going to sit com to you a pandemic is also a measure of you know our. How you feel our house seats you are how optimistic you can be an art your future video will be important for us to keep track out what people are thinking about this pandemic. Beyond just what people are thinking a Bauer the economy. And in a way to that point up until now I think we've kind of expected that president trump and Republicans were in. Use the economy as their main message during this reelection campaign. How is that changing now what is the message that date pitted two. Since the economy is king gave me and maybe that's shaping how they're responding to this crisis but what's the message right now what it once there were. How what's the strategy to get reelected and passage rate millions. I think they know yet let them now but I think trump has a sense that if I go back to him calling it the race has seen a phobic Chinese virus I need to me that's that's like. You know I can't placing yet within a general election strategy but it goes chewed their 2016 message of overseas the move of of companies to manufacture goods overseas has killed the American economy. AK eight China Chinese factories are killing the American economy. Hey look with the Chinese did twist this time. Like you know Xena phobia. Worked really well in 2016. So you could see Trump's team being like OK well this this is not a great situation pressed Ian but. Maybe it does and it does dovetail into the news. Protectionist. America first attitude. Kind of well feed feed goes from that sort of like villainy the organizing. China point of view but also I think it's kind of like. Does the obvious Dee fop playbook is wartime president. Yet what about that term Blake that's another way he's tried to frame that's apart from your calling to the Chinese iris is more like well even if the economy's tanking I can keep you safe right you know I'm a wartime president. And you can peg your security on meet reasoning. We've seen that from trump well that's what he called himself he said he is he sees himself as a war time president. And universal's. The Republicans entrance reelection team which is pivoting towards this war time president message as their reelection bed. North that make sense I don't know if it's effective. I view the trump team's behavior now and that this is like one at that actual. Few benefits about Trump's tweeting as you can kind of see is taking in real time. But you can see. One what trump is anxious about in terms of his reelection and two you can team trying out different. Messages spray so yet you're right we saw some of that kind of like wartime president commander in chief. But we also saw you know declares client. All cap tweet two hours ago from Myanmar according so this has. You know he sent to south Monday morning this is why we need borders right in other words connecting this as Claire said to the message he already had. But ultimately you can also see him. Anxious about the economy right. I think that. I think anxiety about the economy. The notion of hey let's get back to normal. Even if it means that. Some additional people. Die. I guess that wasn't a very. Careful way to put it right. Like they're going to be all that. Kind of already said that right. I think you'll see. Various. Subtle. And not so subtle burdens of that. The trump might arguing you know and people. Might feel OK well you know I'm not gonna affect me. It's gonna run of course you know just kind of long this for nine months or whatever we just mean that all the same people died but Miami select. There's something about. A world where truck is saying hey let's get back to normal. You have all these elite saying no truly dangerous. People get fatigued or people seem to feel like this has begun opera long time we're gonna cost or are. Businesses and our social. Lives and our communities and our churches I mean I think I think that part of the unpredictability here. But just interject an apt point I mean. Don't older people vote more and given that older people are at the susceptible. Group to cove in nineteen isn't there some kind of you know political consideration they're even if you're not going for like the morality. Personal. I can't get here and there is a flip side right there's a flip side we're here. Rob. Is topical yet things back to normal. That it kind of happens and half past way in the half past way we could have happened. Is that the disease begins to spread. On one person pass on one person rice RR zero it's like. One half a meanwhile the economy is not really great and then you have like a second wave. In the fall and then everything you'd like him actually crappy. And so I'm to sing like this is a bit. I'm predictable. So we've been talking about us honey from Trump's perspective and and the Republican perspective we seen some commentary in recent days is asking where Biden it is. You don't we. Have set at this point that democratic primary is not competitor asks. So you know what is Biden doing what's his strategy here Mike is it okay for him to just be in the background and for people to not really pay attention to him for amongst while we're dealing with this crisis. Yeah what's gone up. I mean I honestly it might be knows our little little bit about west to I guess earlier on what we visit. I want some tart in the last seven days about what it's gonna be like to have a presidential campaign without events. And you know there's in this hash tag trending where's Joseph we should point out that both Biden and Sanders. Are currently Adam. It appears to be self quarantining which makes sense they're both people in their seventies. At high risk for that's. For Rita for. A severe am version of this thing. I mean Biden has been doing these like Biden and see Enders. But I have been trying to duty streaming events. What's it's like really clear how many people tune in to them the press notifications for them have certain weird derelict are CP here but you can just click on the link. I don't think a lot of voters are necessarily seeking out. These you know here's my town hauler here's my fireside chat about corona virus so that's kind of it remains he's seen how much. And natural that is you have for people to be hearing the presidential candidates talk about the stuff their take on it there's also Adam. The visuals for Biden's he's been sort of ripping up to ease these tell. Press conferences and and there's like a podium. In his living room and he's behind the podium and one of them which is kind of like odd optics. But the reason I'm just it to wrap up. He. Didn't mean he doesn't need to be out there great lake. Maybe trump just needs to be kind of like. And too erratic. At. Person at the head of this crisis and Joseph Biden can elect come out two weeks and be like yikes they rate this guy. I don't know because it's the you know I don't. Yeah Monica native born you make it might already make Irish where all of us yet this seems like day. A solution in search of problem really erased by for from Biden's point of view of as long as this story is dominating the that headlines are our. Economic down to arm. You know virus spreading the people getting sick and trump sort of bungling the response. Certainly you know I'm I'm I don't buy n.'s rooting for any of those things but in terms of like what is gonna help his campaign to win the presidency. Biden doesn't really have any incentive to get out there right. You know would it be one thing if Biden were now bomb not tight. Charismatic leader who. You know his stump speech is an it is. Rhetoric was like a core part his appeal. But he's not. So from Barton's point of view being you know it just that kind of hurt mainstream generic Democrat. Staying for the most part out of public guy. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing and by the way given up by the and wanted to. You know force his way into the Napa national conversation. Among cherry could do it like he you know. How would he write. The rhetoric point is so interesting Micah. Because in some ways it's like. It's this thing that was so much a part of America from 2000 needs to 2000. Seventeen under Obama write the idea that he was. Making these soaring speeches about hope in the midst of this really dark time was part of his great appeal. And trump is not agree order. Nor is Biden. For different reasons you know I think I are sympathetic to Joseph Biden's lake. Not great. Oratory in part because I think it a lot of it is probably due to his childhood stutter and even you know he's long when did that didn't have to do the starter. But he's not a forceful speaker and it's it's interesting distraught pure lake. Not just like the theater of politics that there is no great. Oratory happening right now you know we don't injure Cuomo's third of efficient press conferences and and like this come a new working efficiency but there's no great lake. There's no great person's DNA at a podium saying you're gonna be OK or we can all get through this. Well now deduct their but. If you're invited see my guess is Biden's team. Right now is saying to themselves okay how can we project. An image. An image that. Gets American system to think hey we would want this person not to Hellman a crisis right which polls show. At least among Democrats most of them did prefer pride in that way right but how can we project that image. This sort of the easiest way to project that I think. Is. Is kind of what's going on with Cuomo right which is you just the two way you talk you're at the sites it decisive speaker. Maybe you have an accent that's associated with like you know decisiveness right. But why didn't I don't think Biden doesn't really have that available. To ham which isn't to say that. In in a crisis like this he would it be good at the Helm or decisive or have like. A better decision making process than trump has. It's just that like the in terms of political rhetoric to shortcut communicate that do it you know he doesn't happen that which is used to your. This action and this section of the time and like political rhetoric does matter and usually am the person his night and a toppled shed Mike. It's all district different ways of lying to you but like. It's a good time to for to remind people like in all seriousness like the spring breakers that they're like. Elderly people all around them that there and beat them you know they're homeless people there are like there are lots of people that you're going to in fact that you don't may be. By dint of us being like of a very you know. The quote unquote first world country we don't think about that the massive poverty and inequality it eggs this year but like. This is a time in your literally exposed to think about your fellow man and I think the American people are giving it a lot of mixed messages about which probably leads to certain people not taking it seriously and like if there were you know. Got the term viral videos. Now takes on different meaning but like if the imagine if there were in a one person and a lot of people in the country looked up to saying. Something very affecting and moving about think about your fellow man think about the people you're hurting with your actions. This is an extraordinary time like I do think it at this point in time. You do need someone doing that night and you don't really cap it. Yeah out it's definitely happen and it really would prime minister regarded name what do you make of power power Biden has handling all of us. One thing kind of pursuant to the discussion earlier about. Trump's ability rating is that like old actually being maybe. A little bit. Com. Trigger president trumpeted doing stupid things that could really. Hurt the country here's something also write a second to be true by the time it to the election there's going to be lots of arguments about. How this is trumps fault. It's going to be lots of second guessing of what he did write com. And Biden reserves follows options to go in later on. And we know more and second guests. Criticized problematic and it is not quickly let him is like a lot of things that probably were in the second guessing will be in the first guessing also right. Lots of experts from around the country in the rubber saying trump is not taking this as seriously. As he needs to an irritant lot of videotape. Evidence of him not taking it seriously to make her very effective commercials. For democratic candidates. A Biden's wells for the senate. I'm whatnot. Not like I know I'm and you could kind of have Biden I was talking that we have like a shadow cabinet where he served her ride. Advice I am not totally Schuller. How well that would necessarily. Come across that he had kind of Biden acting as kind of pseudo president immediately go well. Maybe it go terribly. I don't know right but it's like not that much to. There's not that much to him. Gained I don't think right now. And am not sure there's outlets to be lost either. But what amounts of not being the incumbent is like you don't have to make these decisions in real time you can sit back. And apply all the hindsight bias you want saying OK well well this was done poorly in this should have been a differently. And to some extent then then. You know I don't know why you have to. On top of everything if your if your Biden or whatnot. Yen and certainly hasn't. You know he hasn't gone full bore attack on trumpet he certainly. Hasn't he's been critical you know he set a one plane let me be clear Donald Trump is not to blame for the corona virus but he does bear responsibility for our response. And died along with every American hopes he steps up and starts to get this right. You know that's pretty critical starts to get this right right so yet but I'm with -- like I don't think Biden. Could do much to start making headlines and I don't think he has any incentive to do much to start making headlines. All right well I think we should leave things there and it's been a very energetic. Podcast glad to have all four rusty are there again. My name is Gail injury Tony chow is in the virtual control room you get in touch by emailing us at podcasts at 530 dot com you can also of course treated us with questions or comments. If your friend of the show leaders are reading or review in the apple podcast store or tell someone about us you're also subscribe to us on YouTube. Things are listening and will CC. There. You.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.