Day: November 9, 2020

Background Briefing: November 9, 2020


Could Trump Form a Permanent Opposition of 71 Million Voters Who Believe he Won?

We begin with more evidence that not only will Trump not concede the presidency to Joe Biden, but that in firing his Secretary of Defense today, he is signaling that he’s in charge and not going anywhere. Lincoln Mitchell, a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University who is an associate scholar in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and an expert on the former Soviet states, joins us to discuss the possibility that Trump will mobilize the 71 million Americans who voted for him in what many of them believe is an election their leader won, to be a permanent opposition block against Biden until 2024 when Trump will run again to resume his rightful place in the Oval Office. With senior Republicans like Mitch McConnell going along with Trump’s bogus claims, we assess the likelihood that more credible adults will emerge as George W. Bush has, to convince enough Republicans that Trump has lost and it’s time to move on.


Trump’s “Termination” of His Secretary of Defense

Then we look into Trump’s firing today of Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense in a demeaning tweet announcing Esper was “terminated”.  Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan Administration in a role where he administered about 70% of the defense budget, joins us to discuss concerns that Trump is laying the groundwork for a precipitous pullout of troops from Afghanistan and possibly a war with Iran as a way to overshadow Biden’s transition. 


The History of Presidential Transitions and Concessions

Then finally we look back at previous presidential transitions and concessions which in spite of the rancor of campaigns, have often been gracious and always patriotic and intended to bring the nation together, not tear it apart. Joining us is Julian Zelizer, a Professor of History at Princeton University and the co-host of the Politics and Polls podcast who is a political analyst at CNN where he has an article, “Trump will be a former president whether he concedes or not.”