The epidemic rages on, having killed more than 120,000 Americans. Thousands more will almost surely die before there is a vaccine or enough people have sickened but not died and we have achieved what the experts call “herd immunity.” It doesn’t seem likely that this will happen before the election in November. But whether is does on not, the virus will be a key element in what is sure to be the most depressing election in memory. A contest featuring the worst and most vulgar elements of both show business and politics.

There cannot be many American voters who have not formed an impression of President Donald Trump and arrived at some kind of judgement. He is, to use an old locution, the kind of man who would rather climb a tree and lie than stay on the ground and tell the truth. He is belligerent, boastful, reckless, and cruel. He is incapable of admitting error or sharing the spotlight. His narcissism wears exceedingly thin.

But the fact that there is nothing left to learn about him doesn’t mean that he can’t be repackaged by people who do that for a living and make some very tall money doing it. The television commercials and the scripted events will be artfully crafted to sell him as a strong leader. Bold and unafraid and … blah, blah, blah.

While his rival, Joe Biden has not been in the spotlight, non-stop, for these last four years, he has been on the national political scene since 1972, when he was first elected to the Senate. His footprints are all over the recent political history of the United States. The Trump people doing what is politely called “opposition research,” will find material enough for a dozen campaigns. Everything from problematic speeches and stands on what was once called “forced bussing,” to his vote on the Iraq war, to his son’s suspicious success as a lobbyist. And more.

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