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Dakota Access Oil Pipe Likely Safe From Shutdown Through 2020

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Morgan Stanley Bets on These 3 Stocks; Sees Over 40% Upside

Did the stock market’s epic rally just need a little breather? The last few weeks have seen stocks experience their first meaningful correction since the bull market kicked off in March. Now, the question swirling around the Street is, will the rally pick back up again, or is more downside on the way?According to Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. equity strategist Mike Wilson, uncertainty regarding the presidential election and stalemate on the next stimulus package could lead to declines in September and October. “On the correction, there’s still downside as markets digest the risk of congressional gridlock on the next fiscal deal. While we think something will ultimately get done, it will likely take another few weeks to get it over the goal line,” he noted.However, Wilson argues the recent volatility in no way signals the end of the current bull market. “We think this correction is just that, a correction in a new bull market. It’s normal for markets to pullback after such an incredible run like we’ve experienced since March. Furthermore, when a new bull market coincides with a new economic cycle, the bull market usually runs for years, not months,” the strategist explained.Taking Wilson’s outlook to heart, our focus shifted to three stocks getting a thumbs up from Morgan Stanley. As the firm’s analysts see over 50% upside potential in store for each, we used TipRanks’ database to get the full scoop.Akero Therapeutics (AKRO)With its innovative medicines designed to restore metabolic balance and halt the progression of NASH, a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Akero Therapeutics wants to address the unmet medical needs of patients from all over the world. Based on the strength of its lead candidate, Morgan Stanley is pounding the table.Representing the firm, 5-star analyst Matthew Harrison tells clients that AKRO’s treatment for NASH, efruxifermin (EFX), has a “best-in-class profile.”  EFX is the company’s lead asset and was designed to mimic the biological activity of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), which regulates multiple metabolic pathways and cellular processes, to reduce liver fat and inflammation, reverse fibrosis, increase insulin sensitivity and improve lipoproteins.According to Harrison, NASH is a complex disease, with patients usually having multiple co-morbidities like obesity, type-2 diabetes, increased triglycerides, increased LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol. “A promising therapeutic solution would not only treat the multiple components of NASH but would also have an acceptable side effect profile given the potential co-morbidities,” the analyst explained.That’s where AKRO’s therapy comes in. “In June, Akero presented best-in-class data from its Phase 2a study. This data indicates that EFX improved the two liver histological endpoints recommended by the FDA along with resulting in weight loss, improving cardiovascular health (increasing good HDL cholesterol, decreasing triglycerides, not raising bad LDL cholesterol), and improving factors related to controlling blood glucose levels. This benefit/risk profile beats the competition,” Harrison stated.Looking at the indication as a whole, Harrison views NASH as a very large opportunity given that roughly 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from the condition.The analyst, however, acknowledges there are commercial hurdles. One of these is the fact that “NASH is currently undiagnosed in all but a very small percentage of the prevalent pool since diagnosis currently requires an invasive liver biopsy.” Therefore, along with demonstrating a positive benefit/risk profile, AKRO will need to find patients and secure payer support should the candidate receive FDA approval, in Harrison’s opinion.That said, Harrison believes AKRO is up for the task. “We believe that given EFX’s clean safety profile and broad-based effects, Akero will likely largely overcome these commercial hurdles,” he commented.Harrison added, “Importantly, since Akero’s treatment is injectable, we only assume the drug will penetrate into the population of the most sick patients where there are currently at least 400,000 patients diagnosed and seeking treatment in the U.S.” To this end, he assigns a 60% probability of success, and estimates unadjusted peak sales for the U.S. and the EU will land at $4.5 billion.Based on all of the above, Harrison rates AKRO an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $70 price target. Should his thesis play out, a potential twelve-month gain of 93% could be in the cards. (To watch Harrison’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 6, in fact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: AKRO is a Strong Buy. Given the $58.50 average price target, shares could rise 61% in the next year. (See AKRO stock analysis on TipRanks)TransDigm Group (TDG)Next up we have TransDigm Group, which is one of the top producers, designers and suppliers of highly engineered aerospace components, systems and subsystems. Its products are used on nearly all commercial and military aircrafts in service today. Given its ability to weather the COVID-19 storm, Morgan Stanley sees a bright future ahead.Morgan Stanley analyst Kristine Liwag stated, “We view TransDigm as the most defensible business model in commercial aerospace.” However, this is not to say the company hasn’t been confronted with serious challenges.Over the past few years, management has had to grapple with how to price its defense business, the sustainability of its pricing strategy in aerospace, the durability of its levered balance sheet and the ability to weather a downturn. That said, Liwag remains optimistic going forward. “TDG has overcome short thesis after short thesis in the past few years and we do not expect these concerns to repeat,” she noted.According to Liwag, TDG’s “ability to hold on to margins during a global pandemic” conveys its operating strength. To this end, her estimate for EBITDA margins is well above the rest of the Street’s. The analyst also points out that the company cut its SG&A expense by $89 million year-over-year in fiscal Q3 2020. “We assume the company will retain at least half of those savings, with the remainder returning in the form of variable selling expenses,” she said.Liwag added, “We are positive on TransDigm, particularly as recovery in global air traffic would be favorable for TransDigm’s core profit maker, the aftermarket. Additionally, we view it positively that TDG has the means to acquire weaker players.”Back in April, management raised $1.5 billion of additional debt to trim liquidity risks and provide an extra cushion. “A large debt load is part of management’s strategy to provide private equity like return for its shareholders. Historically, the company has used debt to acquire businesses with similar attributes to TDG’s portfolio of 90% proprietary products and 75% sole sourced. If passenger air traffic continues to normalize, we would expect TDG to use its incremental capital to acquire struggling businesses that fit its strategy,” Liwag commented.All of this prompted Liwag to leave her bullish call and $772 price target unchanged. This target conveys her confidence in TDG’s ability to climb 48% higher in the next year. (To watch Liwag’s track record, click here)Looking at the consensus breakdown, 7 Buys and 5 Holds have been published in the last three months. Therefore, TDG gets a Moderate Buy consensus rating. Based on the $500.58 average price target, shares are poised to stay range-bound for now. (See TDG stock analysis on TipRanks)Cemex SAB (CX)Cemex counts itself as one of the leading players in the building materials industry, with the company manufacturing and distributing cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates. As its risk/reward profile has just gotten more positive, now could be the time to snap up shares, so says Morgan Stanley.Covering the stock for Morgan Stanley, analyst Nikolaj Lippmann believes that CX’s bullish guidance for the third quarter and FY20, which was significantly ahead of consensus, was “the catalyst that builds a bridge to a favorable risk-reward shift.” On top of this, the stock is trading at 6.4 2020e EV/EBITDA, which is cheap compared to its historical performance and its peers, according to the analyst.That being said, Lippmann argues “CX is mainly a good, strong deleveraging story with a call option on what could be an exceptional U.S. cement market if the U.S. Congress approves an infrastructure package in 2021… If we get a U.S. infrastructure package beyond 2020, it would add icing to the cake, we think, and take the market from good to possibly great.”Although a large multi-year package is dependent upon the outcomes of the U.S. presidential and congressional elections, even in the base case, Lippmann expects cement to show pricing power in the U.S.It should be noted that Lippmann thinks it’s possible the next year will be relatively uneventful, but in that case, he expects the industry to pause at 90% capacity utilization and grow from there. On top of this, pricing in Mexico has been holding up. This “limits the downside risk materially and helps skew the risk-reward positively,” in Lippmann’s opinion.What else is working in CX’s favor? The cement demand year-to-date has pleasantly surprised Lippmann, with upside seen during the first stage of the pandemic. He points to DIY and Department of Transportation maintenance work during periods of low traffic, and strong residential construction as the drivers of this demand.Everything that CX has going for it convinced Lippmann to rate the stock an Overweight (i.e. Buy). Along with the call, he attached a $6 price target, suggesting 50% upside potential. (To watch Lippmann’s track record, click here)Turning to the rest of the analyst community, opinions are split almost evenly. 6 Buys and 5 Holds add up to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $4.16, the average price target implies 4% upside potential. (See Cemex stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Despite hopeful speculation, Biden campaign says remaining debates are still on

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‘Fox & Friends’ Hosts Look On in Horror as Rudy Giuliani Blurts Out Biden Dementia Conspiracy Theory

Everyone knows that live television isn’t easy. Anything can go wrong—from a faulty connection, a verbal slip-up, or, as was the case on Tuesday morning’s Fox & Friends, Rudy Giuliani bellowing insane conspiracy theories at the nation with no obvious way to stop him.It’s always a risk to allow Giuliani to share his wildly unpredictable stream of consciousness live. The man who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2001 has long since been reduced to sharing the latest Trumpist conspiracy theories on any cable news channel that has the budget to cover any possible subsequent defamation lawsuits.This time, his F&F hosts looked on with visible horror in their eyes as Giuliani shared his completely baseless belief that Joe Biden is suffering from dementia. If you have the time, it’s worth watching the clip at least three times so you can see each of the hosts panicking in their own unique way as the former New York City mayor rambles on and on.> On Fox & Friends, Rudy Giuliani says Joe Biden “has dementia. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve talked to doctors. … The president’s quite right to say maybe he’s taken adderall.” The hosts get visibly uncomfortable. pic.twitter.com/2Ma7DKNBpS> > — Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 29, 2020With a mischievous cackle, Giuliani began: “The man [Biden] has dementia. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve talked to doctors. I’ve had them look at a hundred different tapes of his five years ago and today.” Trying his very best to shut Giuliani down, host Steve Doocy interjected that Biden’s team has said the Democrat has no serious medical problems.Giuliani then made an extraordinary noise at Doocy that can best be typed as “Oowughawughawugh,” before continuing: “He can’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance and he’s fine? He was in the Senate for 160 years? I mean, he can’t do the prologue to the… to the… con… to the… uh… Constitution of the United States or the Declaration of Independence, any of them.”Getting louder and increasingly excited about his armchair diagnosis, Giuliani went on: “He can’t do NUMBERS. Wow, are the numbers screwed up. He actually displays symptoms that two gerontologists told me are classic symptoms of middle level dementia.” Doocy and co-host Ainsley Earhardt both responded to that claim by softly saying, “Right.” The third host, Brian Kilmeade, can just be seen blinking rapidly.Fox News Lobotomizes Its ‘Brain Room,’ Cuts Fact-Based JournalismNevertheless, Giuliani persisted. “That’s when [Biden] does that ‘I pledge allegiance to the United States… uh… uh… um… I think,’ he’s done that twice,” said the ex mayor. “That’s a classic symptom in the DSM-V, it’s the fifth symptom, of dementia, he’s got eight of the 10.”Then, seemingly remembering that he was on the show to talk about tonight’s presidential debate, he went on: “Look, that isn’t the debate. He can get through it. I think the president is quite right to say maybe he’s taken Adderall or some kind of attention deficit disorder thing.”As Giuliani began pulling prescription medicine brands out of the air, Doocy had finally had enough and told him firmly, “None of us are doctors, that is your opinion.” Giuliani fought back, saying it was actually the opinion of some very professional-sounding doctors that he knows.But the game was up. Kilmeade, in his first verbal interjection of the entire exchange, said with exasperation, “We can stay away from that.” Earhardt then moved on to pick Giuliani’s brain on the Supreme Court.This particular line of attack is one that Giuliani—whose work as President Trump’s lawyer and top dirt-digger on Hunter and Joe Biden kicked off a chain of events that got his client impeached last year—has enthusiastically embraced as one of his primary functions now for Team Trump.Shortly before midnight on Monday night, Giuliani started texting The Daily Beast to say that Trump did “great” in recent White House debate prep (for which the president said on Sunday that Giuliani and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie took part), and to rail against Biden as a “senile,” “broken down old crook” who’s supposedly suffering from “dementia” and needs “ADD drugs” to get through the Tuesday debate. The Trump attorney also claimed that someone had told him how stupid Biden was in law school.Giuliani also mentioned late Monday evening that he’d be flying with Trump on Air Force One on Tuesday and would be at the Cleveland debate. Asked about what kinds of questions he peppered the president with during the prep, the former New York City mayor replied, “It really doesn’t work like that with him. It’s much more of a discussion rather than a rehearsal. Plus you are dealing with a very smart, very alert human being, not a senile old man.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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William Hill Accepts Bid From Caesars But Still Faces Breakup

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2 “Strong Buy” Space Stocks That Are Ready for Takeoff

Space, the final frontier. Throughout history, the expanse that exists beyond Earth has captivated people all over the world, with space exploration continuing to take giant leaps forward since Apollo 11 first landed on the moon.Now, outer space has peaked Wall Street’s interest. Given the high levels of private funding and advances in technology, the pros argue there could be major implications should space become more accessible and less expensive to reach. To this end, new markets such as satellite broadband, high-speed product delivery, reusable rockets and human space travel are emerging.Speaking to the potential opportunity, according to a recent KPMG report, by 2030, the global space industry could reach $600 billion, with it currently worth $350 billion. Bearing this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to zero in on two space stocks reaching for the stars, so says the Street. Boasting the analyst community’s full support, both tickers have received a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE)By offering high-speed point-to-point travel, Virgin Galactic wants to commercialize space travel and revolutionize commercial flight. Given the significant backlog of demand for commercial spaceflight, several members of the Street have high hopes for this space stock.Representing Cowen, analyst Oliver Chen sees SPCE as “uniquely positioned to benefit from the growing consumer interest toward luxury experiences, especially among high-net-worth individuals.” He added, “We believe a substantial growth opportunity lies ahead with the commercial spaceflight business, which already has ~600 reservations, and the development of high-speed point-to-point travel.”Looking at the market opportunity, Chen estimates that this part of the business could push SPCE’s top-line to $1 billion-plus by 2030, growing at a 60%-plus CAGR (2021-2030), with an EBITDA margin of 46%. According to the analyst, there’s a total addressable market (TAM) for commercial spaceflight (suborbital) of roughly 2.4 million individuals with a net worth of $5 million-plus globally.On top of this, SPCE could use its technology to develop additional revenue streams such as high-speed P2P commercial air travel. The development of hypersonic aircrafts would make 85% of the global network pairs accessible in a one-day trip. In addition, the analyst thinks the high-speed P2P opportunity could yield a TAM of $985 billion by 2050, and SPCE’s market share could clock in at 20%. “P2P is in very early innings but we believe the company has the resources, capital, and experience to pursue this business line,” Chen noted.Given that the company’s leadership team brings expertise from NASA and Disney to the table, Chen argues SPCE is capable of capitalizing on the opportunity, with solid execution potentially solidifying its status as an experiential luxury brand.The positioning of its commercial space flight offering as a luxury airline experience, which is what consumers are more used to, is likely to give SPCE the first-mover advantage over others like Blue Origin. “Given the high fixed cost of operating a space tourism operation, first-mover advantage looks critical to success; and VG appears better positioned than BO to get it,” Chen mentioned.What else could give SPCE the first-mover advantage? Chen points to SPCE’s 10-plus years of technology developed with $1 billion of investment made to-date and the vertically integrated aerospace development capabilities. What’s more, SPCE has “created competitive moats in a high-barrier-to-entry industry and benefits from strong consumer demand, which should support a premium pricing structure.”Based on all of the above, Chen puts an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating and $22 price target on the stock. (To watch Chen’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 7 to be exact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: SPCE is a Strong Buy. With a $25.43 average price target, shares could rise 22% in the next year. (See Virgin Galactic stock analysis on TipRanks)Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings (AJRD)Serving customers that include the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), NASA and other agencies and companies, Aerojet Rocketdyne develops and manufactures advanced propulsion and energetics systems. Given its recent contract awards, multiple analysts believe this company’s long-term growth prospects are strong.5-star analyst Ken Herbert, of Canaccord Genuity, recently met with AJRD’s new CFO, coming away from the discussion with his bullish thesis very much intact. The company expects the space business, which makes up 40% of sales, to be flat to up slightly, due to the recent SLS RS-25 engine order, with the core defense business (60% of sales) set to see steady growth.“While near-term margin upside is limited, we believe the revenue visibility, strong balance sheet and incremental opportunities in both space and defense contribute to a scarcity value for AJRD not reflected in the stock,” Herbert commented.That said, new programs are an essential piece of the puzzle here. Earlier in September, AJRD announced that it will build two elements of the new ground based strategic deterrent (GBSD) nuclear missiles for Northrop Grumman, which received a $13.3 billion, 8.5-year EMD contract to initiate early production of the “Minuteman IV” platform. AJRD is responsible for manufacturing a large solid rocket motor for the missile’s upper stage and the post-boost propulsion system needed to guide the nuclear warheads to their targets through apogee (the highest point of their parabolic flight arc). Weighing in on the deal, Herbert commented, “The program is expected to be substantial to both Aerojet and Northrop, with 400 active and 242 spare ICBMs expected to occupy the existing launch sites in the American West. It has been estimated that the GBSD program will be worth $63 billion during its first 20 years of life, which is likely to be extended given the longevity of the current Minuteman III deterrent.”Adding to the good news, AJRD’s backlog has increased to a record high of $6.8 billion as of Q2 2020, a 48% gain from the prior-year quarter. According to Herbert, a key driver of this growth has been the $1.8 billion NASA contract to construct 18 new RS-25 engines to support at least five additional Artemis lunar missions beyond the three currently planned. “As such, visibility into Aerojet’s business with NASA continues to look promising through 2030. Aerojet has also continued to see backlog growth on THAAD, hypersonics, Standard Missile and GMLRS,” the analyst stated. If that wasn’t enough, Herbert believes missile defense and classified hypersonics programs are likely to see solid backlog growth in the near-term.On top of this, in August, the U.S. Air Force awarded two contracts for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program to ULA (a Boeing and Lockheed joint venture) and SpaceX. The implication? “Aerojet Rocketdyne is seen as a winner of the contact outcome, which ensured that the company will continue to provide content on a majority of U.S. military and intelligence launches. AJRD will see its upper stage engine content double on the new ULA Vulcan rocket under this contract, which utilizes a new Centaur upper stage (the Centaur V) powered by two RL10 engines, as opposed to one RL10 on the legacy Atlas V rocket,” Herbert explained.Everything that AJRD has going for it convinced Herbert to reiterate his Buy rating. Along with the call, he maintained a $54 price target, suggesting 34% upside potential. (To watch Herbert’s track record, click here)All in all, other analysts are on the same page. AJRD’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells. Meanwhile, the $56 average price target brings the upside potential to 39%. (See AJRD stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Trump Planned to Go Feral on Biden. Now His Allies Want to Call Animal Control

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Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

Since he first sought the Oval Office, President Donald Trump has relished in the idea that he is the “chaos president.” During his first debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night, he distilled his past five years in the political spotlight into the most highly concentrated dose of chaos of his presidency.

Trump, backed into an electoral corner with more than 200,000 dead from the coronavirus pandemic and an economy in shambles as a result, lashed out in every direction on the debate stage at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a petulant performance of personal and political grievance stunning even by Trumpian standards.

According to advisers close to the president, the act was not purely impulsive, but strategic—born out of a strategy that sought to confuse and confound Biden with the ultimate goal of getting the former vice president to stumble and lose his train of thought.

But in the aftermath of the carnage, even some of the president’s own boosters couldn’t help but concede that he had spent an hour and a half acting like a feral animal.

“I think on the Trump side, it was too hot,” former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had done debate prep with Trump leading up to Tuesday, said on ABC. “Listen, you come in and decide you want to be aggressive and that was the right thing, to be aggressive. But that was too hot.”

Reached for comment late Tuesday night, Ed Rollins, a veteran GOP strategist who fronts the pro-Trump group Great America PAC, simply responded, “Wow. I have seen nothing like this ever. Don’t want to comment any further.” Asked if the president did a good job or not, Rollins would only reply, “No comment.”

The president, famously intransigent about traditional debate preparation and visibly antsy behind the lectern, barely allowed a single sentence before trampling over the speaker, whether it was spoken by Biden or from beleaguered moderator Chris Wallace, who appeared nearly incapable of halting the president’s trampling of the debate format. When Trump did speak, the utterances bounced between the incendiary to outright assaults on the American political system. He closed out by saying he believed the Supreme Court would intervene in the election (on ballot-related issues) and urged his supporters to go into polling locations in thinly veiled intimidation tactics.

Trump Says He’s ‘Counting’ on Supreme Court to Decide Election

Biden, whose weeks of preparation were clearly modeled on at least some version of the president’s burn-it-all-down debate strategy, had multiple canned rejoinders to Wallace’s attempts to corral Trump’s tirades—he employed some version of “he doesn’t know how to do that” multiple times when Trump was asked to allow him to finish his remarks. But in the words of CNN reporter Dana Bash moments after the debate’s conclusion, Biden could not extricate himself—much less elevate—the “shitshow.”

Beyond the supposed format of the debate, thrown out of the window almost from its outset, the minimal standards of decorum or decency in the Trump era were

As Biden discussed the death of his eldest son, Beau, an Iraq War veteran who died from brain cancer in 2015, Trump interrupted to harangue Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s younger son, attacking him for his past addiction issues.

“Hunter got thrown out of the military, dishonorably discharged,” Trump said, incorrectly, as Biden and Wallace both appeared stunned that the president made his son’s struggles with substance abuse a topic of debate.

“My son, like a lot of people, had a drug problem,” Biden responded. “He’s overtaken it, he’s fixed it… and I’m proud of him.”

Biden, clearly operating under no false assumption that Trump would obey the rules of the debate, of decorum, or of human decency, often responded to Trump’s interruptions with his trademark “this guy’s such a clown” grin. But as the night wore on, and as Trump’s attacks on Biden’s mental fitness and his family increased in both frequency and savagery, his smile became a grimace, and finally a scowl.

“Would you shut up, man?” Biden said at one point. In the debate’s second hour, his eyes shut in clear frustration, Biden fumed that “it’s hard to get any word in with this clown—sorry, this person.” During a spat about racial biases in policing, he turned to Trump and declared him a “racist.”

In the Trump administration’s fourth year, it is universally acknowledged that the president will always be himself—he knows no other speed than breakneck, no other mode but attack. But in the midst of the melee, some moments of grievance managed to shock even the most jaded Trump observers.

At one point, the president refused to condemn white supremacists, instead calling on Proud Boys—a violent ultranationalist club for hipster racists that takes their name from a cut song from Disney’s Aladdin—to “stand back and stand by” for civil unrest. That moment was almost immediately turned into a rallying cry by the group, which has begun policing Trump campaign events and has vowed to “monitor” polling places on election day. Later in the debate, he appeared to confuse Hillary Clinton’s famous “superpredators” quote with something that Biden had said.

During an exchange about the pandemic, Trump interrupted his own rant with a mini-rant gleaned from Fox News about Biden misidentifying his alma mater.

“You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word ‘smart’ with me,” Trump said. “Because you know what, there’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”

As a moderator—working solo due to coronavirus restrictions—Wallace had all the influence of a windsock in such situations.

Despite the vast gap between his and Biden’s effective speaking time, Trump avoided directly answering many of the questions, including two that are generally not difficult for American presidents: “Will you condemn white supremacists?,” and “Will you accept the results of the election?”

“I guess I’m debating you and not him,” Trump said after his first of many tangles with Wallace about interrupting Biden, “but that’s OK.”

“Do you realize you’re both speaking at the same time?” Wallace said weakly in the debate’s first half-hour. When the debate’s second section, devoted to discussing the coronavirus pandemic, began, Wallace pleaded with the candidates to “try to be serious.”

Trump’s entourage, at least, did not see the issue as particularly serious. Despite urgings from the Cleveland Clinic, which advised the Commission on Presidential Debates on health guidance to avoid spreading the coronavirus, that all attendees observe social distancing rules and wear facial coverings due to coronavirus restrictions, more than half of Trump’s guests, including all four of his adult children, did not wear facial coverings.

Across Trumpworld and the president’s re-election effort, however, the evening’s shouting and the belligerent cross-talking was, in large part, precisely the point. According to two sources familiar with the president’s preparations, it has long been Trump’s stated intention to try to knock Biden off his game by flooding the debate with personal and family jabs, subject change, and indignant-sounding interruptions. Part of the president’s thinking, the sources said, was to attempt to get the former veep to start faltering on live national TV, thus reinforcing Team Trump’s narrative of a doddering, “sleepy” Democratic opponent.

For the most part, it didn’t seem to work on Tuesday night. Some Trump advisers and confidants cheering on the president as the debate aired resorted to making the Fox News host and moderator the primary object of derision, instead of Barack Obama’s vice president.

“Wallace is Trump’s real adversary. Biden is a mumbling footnote,” Rudy Giuliani, a Trump attorney and lead Biden antagonist who the president brought along to Cleveland Tuesday, messaged The Daily Beast as he watched the debate. “Look how aggressive Wallace is with Trump. And he’s beating Wallace, Biden’s kind of disappearing. Trump is in command of both and Wallace is more effective than Biden.”

John McLaughlin, a top pollster for Trump, also seemed eager to work the refs and make the Fox News Sunday host the villain, saying shortly after the debate ended that the “president dominated. Wallace was [the] loser. Biden got away with calling the President a liar and clown and Wallace asked Trump about taxes but never asked Biden about Hunter and family corruption.”

The Trump campaign, apparently so confident of the president’s victory in Tuesday night’s debate that the debate itself was irrelevant to that conclusion, blasted an email to Trump supporters forty minutes before the debate began lauding the president’s performance.

“I showed the American People that I will ALWAYS fight to put America First no matter what,” the Trump-signed email read.

Still, not every Trump ally and operative was pleased with how the leader of the free world handled himself, arguing that the president was too grumpy, to the detriment of his strategy to humiliate or trip-up his liberal opponent.

“They both yelled too much and were too angry,” one Republican close to the Trump campaign told The Daily Beast shortly before midnight. “Biden’s entire theory of the case and pitch to voters is his calmness and a return to normalcy and I think he undermined that pitch with this performance. On the other hand, while Biden was clearly struggling throughout, every time he began to fumble the football, Trump would throw him a lifeline and interrupt him before the fumble was completed. It wasn’t a debate that either side should be proud of.”

Near the end of the televised event, Trump implied ominously that the violence and tumult in American streets, and the deep divisions in the nation, that were discussed at the debate were just a sample of what was to come on and after Election Day.

“This is not going to end well,” Trump vowed. “This is not going to end well.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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