Damn the Torpedoes; Full Campaign Ahead – “The Sunday Political Brunch”


Sunday, September 10, 2023


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Former Donald Trump PHOTO: GoLocal

Well, Labor Day weekend has come and gone, but it marks an important point in the political process. In the old days, Labor Day of the election year signaled the 90-day sprint to the finish line. Now, it means we’re 15 months from the election, and a lot needs to be done to find and secure the precious gold of political momentum. In essence, a 90-day sprint has become a 15-month marathon run. Let’s “brunch” on that this week.


“Labor Day Lobbying” – I want to be as fair and delicate as I can about the following. I know many people (including many of those in his own party), believe President Joe Biden is not healthy enough for a second term. Note: I did NOT say the phrase, “too old.” Age is not the issue, but physical and mental health are. The president tried to address the issue in a Labor Day rally in Philadelphia on Monday. I am not sure if he succeeded or made the situation even worse. Later in the week he went to the G-20 Summit in India.



“What did Biden Say?” — I tell you what, someone said, ‘that Biden he getting old man.’ I tell you what. Guess what? Guess what? The only thing that comes with age is a little bit of wisdom,” the president said. Biden added, ‘I’ve been doing this longer than anybody. And guess what? I’m going to continue to do it with your help.’” I make no judgments as I have seen similar health issues firsthand in my family. Pundits and consultants won’t decide this, but the voters will based on their perceptions and impressions. Period.


“Where’s the ‘Trump Train?’” – It’s a weird batch of headlines but it should be a surprise to no one. One headline this week read, “All 19 Charged in Georgia Election Interference Plead Not Guilty.” Former President Trump and his cohorts dealing with another round of criminal indictments, with the latest at the state level, with federal charges in the other three rounds. A Wall Street Journal Poll out this week shows Biden and Trump at 46 percent of the vote, a piece. That leaves just eight percent undecided, but it’s still early and fluid. Still, the important takeaway here is that even after four rounds of federal and state criminal indictments, Trump is treading water and appears safe for now. Even after one national debate, no other GOP candidate is nipping at his heels or even gaining much ground.


“Is the Tortoise Chasing the Hare, or Just Another Tortoise?” – Yes, as always at this point in the race, many eyes are on New Hampshire. The first poll to come out after the Milwaukee GOP presidential debate showed a shift. Former Gov, Nikki Haley (R) South Carolina was extremely aggressive in the debate, while Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Florida was relatively docile, since he was not being attacked. A post-debate poll in the Granite State now shows Haley picking up points and tying DeSantis at 10 percent apiece, in second place. Momentum? Not much! Despite the glacial movement up from Haley to DeSantis, the post-debate poll still shows Trump at 47 percent GOP preference in New Hampshire. That’s going to be hard to overcome.


“Trump Weighs-in in Georgia” –To no one’s surprise, lawyers for former President Donald Trump have filed a brief to move his criminal case in Georgia from state to federal court. “President Trump hereby notifies the Court that he may seek removal of his prosecution to federal court,” said his lawyer, Steven Sadow. The ultimate goal is to convince a judge that Trump’s actions in the indictment were tied to his formal duties as a government official, therefore giving him immunity. Longshot? Probably. But I think we will see more defense issues filed as “executive privilege” and therefore protected. But, we may have a clue. Late Friday a judge denied former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s efforts to move his indictment from state to federal court. The same fate may be faced by Trump and others. Expect multiple appeals.


“Transfer Portal: How It Turned into a Local High School Issue” – People either love or hate that “transfer portal” in college athletics that lets a player swing between two (or more) schools with relative ease over their eligibility. Now, in West Virginia at least, it has moved to the high school level with much controversy. Players are allowed to transfer one-time, from anywhere in the state, to anywhere else in the state. Critics say that is creating elite college grooming programs, to the detriment of lower-tier high school programs.


“Is Justice Seeking Sports Justice?” – Gov. Jim Justice (R) West Virginia, who remains a longtime high school basketball coach, is not a fan.  He may even call the legislature into session to repeal the new transfer law. A lot of it is driven by creating lucrative NIL deals (name, image, and likeness), for athletes even before they get to college. Elite high school teams are having blow-out wins in West Virginia, which Justice calls wrong. “Those kids have to go to school tomorrow. The kids that got beat 95-to-6 or whatever it was; they got to go to school tomorrow. And kids can be really cruel to other kids,” said Gov. Justice, who wants the law repaired or repealed.


“Why This Sports-Politics Issue will Rocket to the Top of Politics” – They should be as separate as church versus state, but politics and sports often intersect and not always with good outcomes. When the Alabama Crimson Tide football team won the 1992 national championship, while President Bill Clinton was in office, Sen. Richard Shelby (D) Alabama was not invited to the White House celebration. Not too long after, Shelby, a ‘Bama grad, bolted to the Republican Party.


“Sports and Politics Don’t Mix, Chapter 2” — Do you ever wonder why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky and Sen. Joe Manchin (D)West Virginia despise each other so much? After all, their two states share a lot of common issues and needs. Well, when the Big 12 Conference had an opening in 2012, McConnell lobbied for the University of Louisville to join, while Manchin pushed West Virginia University. Manchin won, McConnell lost, and the two barely speak, if ever. In Washington, DC, the politicians still keep score.

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the seven Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and the entire Washington, DC media market. He is also a MINDSETTER™ contributing political writer and analyst for www.GoLocalProv.com and its affiliates.


  • Into the Starting Gate and They’re Off—“The Sunday Political Brunch” May 7, 2023
  • Will Biden-Trump be a Two-Act Play? – “The Sunday Political Brunch” April 30, 2023
  • Will One Thousand Paper Cuts Bleed Trump? “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • A Spring Potluck of Diverse Political Stories – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • The Presidential Parade Progresses – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – May 28, 2023
  • When Political Action, or Inaction Has Consequences – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • Candidates “Positioning” Themselves for Your Vote – “The Sunday Political Brunch” April 16, 2023
  • A “Stormy” Political Season May be Coming—“The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • As the World of Donald Trump Turns – “The Sunday Political Brunch” March 26, 2023
  • Riding the Trump Impeachment Train – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – April 2, 2023
  • Trump’s Tornado Twists Across the Political Landscape – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • The Presidential Parade on Steroids – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – June 4, 2023
  • Trump Indicted as the Gloves Come Off in Campaign 2024 – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • A Generation of Tit-for-Tat Politics – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – August 6, 2023
  • Troubles for Both Camp Biden and Camp Trump – “The Sunday Political Brunch” July 30, 2023
  • Is It Time for the Gloves to Come Off? – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • The 2024 Campaign Turns into a Chess Match – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • A Turning-Point Week for the GOP Presidential Race – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • Will New Trump Troubles Spark More Campaigns? – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – July 23, 2023
  • President Biden Tries to Play the Global Stage – “The Sunday Political Brunch”—July 16, 2023
  • Spinning the Spin of the Trump Arraignment – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – June 18, 2023
  • Sudden Political Tsunami Brews for 2024 – “The Sunday Political Brunch” June 25, 2023
  • Let the 4th Fireworks Distract Political Fireworks – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • A Mid-Summer Political Hodge Podge – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – July 9, 2023
  • How Long Can Trump Defy Gravity? – “The Sunday Political Brunch” September 3, 2023


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