Probably the most prominent American political consultant, Dick Morris is credited almost universally with piloting Bill Clinton to a stunning comeback re-election victory in 1996 after the president lost Congress to the Republicans two years before.

Called "the most influential private citizen in America" by Time magazine, Morris also has handled the winning campaigns for more than 30 senators or governors.

Morris makes more than 400 appearances each year and is well known for hard-hitting, nonpartisan commentary about the U.S. political scene. He writes a weekly column for the New York Post and the Hill Magazine in the United States and the National Post in Canada.

In November 1999, Morris founded a Web site called where people may log on to vote on the major issues of the day. Their opinions are e-mailed to their senators and members of Congress and to other significant decision makers is rated by Media Metrics and PC Data as one of the most trafficked Web sites in the world.

Morris has written many books, including his 1997 best-selling memoir of the Clinton administration, "Behind the Oval Office, Winning the Presidency in the Nineties." His latest is "Power Grab: Obama's Dangerous Plan foe a One Party Nation."

In 1999, he wrote a guide to modern politics called "The New Prince: Machiavelli Updated for the 21st Century." His book "Power Plays" sketches the careers of 20 of history's leading figures and the strategies they used to gain political power.

Other best-sellers to his credit include “Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us . . . and What to Do About It,” and his latest, "Catastrophe: How Obama, Congress, and the Special Interests Are Transforming a Slump into a Crash, Freedom Into Socialism, and a Disaster into a Catastrophe . . . and How to Fight Back."

Morris lives in Connecticut and in New York City with his wife of 23 years, Eileen McGann, his frequent co-author.
Tags: 2020 Elections | Afghanistan | Donald Trump | George W. Bush | War on Terrorism | Chronic Pain | kerry

Trump Can't Minimize the Pandemic and Win

Trump Can't Minimize the Pandemic and Win

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing of the Coronavirus Task Force in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on July 21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. - Trump warned that the coronavirus crisis is likely to "get worse before it gets better." (Jim Watson /AFP via Getty Images) 

By Wednesday, 22 July 2020 06:13 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In 2004, Republicans felt there was only one issue: Terrorism. Democrats belittled the topic and yearned for a return to "normal" times in the nation’s politics.

In a dramatic role reversal, in 2020, Democrats feel that only one issue dominates: Coronavirus. Republicans play the same role Democrats did in 2004 — trying to get past the issue of the current pandemic and back to more normal times.

In 2004, nothing but terrorism mattered.

Bush was seen as better able to fight terrorism and that was that.

The 2004 race was conducted in the shadow of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. Having declared a "War on Terror," President George W. Bush mobilized the country.

We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

We passed the Patriot Act extending the powers of the government to investigate and root out terrorism.

We increased our military power dramatically.

Howver, many dissented and found the emphasis on terrorism exaggerated.

Notably, Michael Moore, in his 2004 film "Fahrenheit 9/11," said that the odds of dying in a terror attack were about the same for the average American of being struck by lightening.

Now, Republicans are struggling to put the virus issue in perspective, saying that only six out of every thousand people infected with the virus die. But their task is as futile as was that of Moore and the Democrats in 2004.

Some currents are just too strong to swim against.

In the presidential debates of 2004, President George W. Bush won the terror issue over his Democratic opponent, John Kerry during their first encounter. Kerry won all the other issues: Social Security, healthcare, climate change, but still found himself trailing in the polls as the nation obsessed on the terror threat.

Now it is the Democrats who have the upper hand on the issue of the day: COVID-19. Now it's Trump and the Republicans who long for a return to "normal" politics and who want to bypass the virus and move on.

But the Biden lead in the polling indicates that America is not ready to turn the page.

With the daily rate of new cases surging to 70,000 (even with the death rate plunging), voters credit Biden with being better able to thwart the virus and he leads the polls as a result.

The message for President Trump is clear: You can’t avoid, minimize, or trivialize an issue that obsesses the American people. You have to mobilize and win it. He can't afford to concede the virus issue. He must take this pandemic seriously, stop trying to minimize it, curb his usual optimism, and settle in for a long struggle against what amounts to a plague.

This past week, the president has shown encouraging signs that he gets it. Donning a mask for the first time and telling people that things "will get worse before they get better," he is engaging on the key issue that holds Biden aloft.

With Biden incapable of campaigning, hunkered down in his basement, the threat of a resurgent Trump taking on the virus issue with the full powers of the presidency is daunting. He has to hope that racial angst and fury about police misconduct can give him a place to stand even if he loses his edge on the virus issue.

Trump, for his part, seems to have learned another lesson from the past: the use of executive orders. Taking his cue from President Obama who reminded people "I've got a pen and a phone," he is vaulting over the gridlocked legislative process with a series of executive orders breath-taking in scope — and impact. His order stopping deportation of DACA migrants threatens Biden’s hold on Latinos — who are already resentful of how Democrats pander to blacks and ignore Latinos.

Trump’s order stopping the inclusion of illegal immigrants in the census puts the border issue back in play after it had faded (largely due to the success of the wall in curbing the flow).

If he cuts a broad swath through issues like healthcare and crime with bold executive action, begin to feel sorry for Biden.

But the real change this week is Trump’s turn over Coronavirus. Taking it seriously and assuming the leading role in fighting the disease will reverse his bad polling, likely putting him back in the lead.

Especially against so pathetic an opponent.

Dick Morris is former presidential advisor and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris's ReportsMore Here.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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This past week, the president has shown encouraging signs that he gets it. Donning a mask for the first time and telling people that things "will get worse before they get better," he is engaging on the key issue that holds Biden aloft.
kerry, moore, fahrenheit
Wednesday, 22 July 2020 06:13 AM
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