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During UW-L lecture, White House reporter thinks COVID will be the main issue of the fall election



The presidential election of 2020 probably will be decided based on how Donald Trump handles the coronavirus crisis. 

That’s the feeling of White House reporter Kenneth Walsh, who spoke on-line yesterday as part of a U-W-La Crosse lecture series on current events. 

Walsh’s topic was “Presidential Leadership in Crisis,” the name of a new book he’s written, and the correspondent for U.S. News and World Report said the health emergency is an unfamiliar type of situation for Trump.

“He’s used to dealing with adversaries and opponents who he can throttle, who he can ridicule…who he can make a deal with or not, depending on what he wants to do with a given issue” said Walsh.  

Walsh thinks Trump waited too long to address the virus problem, but is now adapting his management style to deal with it, and he says it’s too early to predict how the election will turn out.                

Walsh thinks one of the most badly botched crises in recent American history was an attempt to rescue hostages from Iran, 40 years ago this week. 

President Jimmy Carter authorized a rescue mission in April of 1980 which ended abruptly with a deadly helicopter crash, and Walsh believes the plan for the rescue was too complicated to succeed.   

Walsh says Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan all did well in leading the U.S. during crises, and that George W. Bush handled 9-11 well, but not the war against Iraq.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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