The Corner

Politics & Policy

Forces of Destiny

Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 2016 (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

National Review readers are well familiar with Tim Alberta — who covered Campaign 2016 for us. (Did anything interesting happen that year?) He is now the chief political correspondent for Politico — and is covering Campaign 2020. How do you cover a campaign in a pandemic? How do you campaign in a pandemic? It’s tricky. This whole period is dauntingly tricky. Last year, Tim published American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump. As I frequently say, he is one of the foremost Republicanologists in the country — not to say that he doesn’t know the Democrats, too. He certainly does.

We talk about both parties on Q&A, here. Sample question: What’s your feeling about Biden’s vice-presidential selection? Who will be his running mate? Another sample: What about the GOP side? Will Trump stick with Pence, for sure? We also talk about lockdown politics, the Bolton book, and plenty more. We end with a discussion of sports. Tim and I are both Michiganders, so we have known some of the same agonies over the years (as well as heights, to be sure).

Quick pivot to opera? Why not? Like many other companies, the Metropolitan Opera has gotten into the streaming business. They are streaming performances past. Currently, you can watch a Forza del destino (Verdi) from 1984. I have done a quick note about this at The New Criterion, here. Starring as Leonora in this Forza was Leontyne Price, who was 57. She would retire within a year — retire from the operatic stage, that is. She sang recitals until 1997.

“I attended 13 Price recitals,” I once said to her, after she had retired. “So few?” she answered. I pleaded that I had gotten a late start.

Anyway, all politics and no play — or no arts — makes Jack a dull boy. Have a good weekend!

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