Apr 18, 2020

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Hello, Saturday. Smart Brevity™ count: 917 words ... 3½ minutes.

🛒 Situational awareness: Walmart plans to hire another 50,000 workers after reaching its goal of adding 150,000 workers six weeks ahead of schedule.

  • The nation’s largest private employer announced its hiring plans in mid-March, and expected to complete the hiring at the end of May.AP
1 big thing: Trump show dominates pandemic while Biden's voice fades
Data: Internet Archive Television News Archive, NewsWhip, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Parse.ly, Google Trends. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump's presence during the pandemic dwarfs Joe Biden's across nearly every media channel.

  • As the president riffs for hours with millions of cable-news viewers, Biden is often chugging away on livestreams with many fewer eyeballs, Axios' Neal Rothschild, Sara Fischer and Alexi McCammond report.

Reality check: The extra exposure for Trump hasn’t necessarily helped him.

  • The president’s approval rating slipped six points in Gallup from mid-March to mid-April.
  • 65% of U.S. adults in a Pew survey saw him as taking action too slowly.

The tale of the tape:

  • On social media: Stories about Trump generated 7x more interactions (likes, comments, shares) on Facebook and Twitter than Biden over the last month, according to NewsWhip data.
  • Social media following: Trump's online fan size dwarfs Biden's on Twitter (77 million to 5 million), Facebook (27 million to 3 million), and Instagram (19 million to 2 million).
  • On web traffic: Stories about Trump have gotten 5.5x more views than Biden stories, according to data from 2,500 sites in the Parse.ly network.
  • On Google: 7x more searches for Trump than Biden, per Google Trends.
  • On TV: Trump has been mentioned more than 3x as much as Biden on cable news, according to the Internet Archive Television News Archive.

Biden, in an effort to sculpt his own presidential posture during lockdown, has blitzed cable news and spoken via livestream a couple times a week.

  • He's also launched a newsletter and podcast.

Biden aides are banking on their belief that there are plenty of people who prefer Biden's style to Trump's.

  • "This isn't a shouting contest," campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo said, adding that Biden is "the compassionate and emphatic voice that's sorely missing from the White House."

Share this graphic.

2. 🍽️ How eating out will change
San Gennaro, a red-sauce restaurant in the Bronx, awaits our return. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

It may be a long time before many of us congregate in restaurants. And going out to eat is quickly becoming a far-off luxury for many hardworking Americans.

But the dining trade is starting to think about how the industry will need to evolve, and Bloomberg's Leslie Patton and Edward Ludlow have a look ahead:

  • "Buffet services may disappear."
  • "Workers may need to wear gloves and masks."
  • '"[U]tensils may be individually wrapped."
  • "Appetizers off of shared plates may be discontinued."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom had this preview of the new normal when restaurants reopen, via L.A. Times:

  • Taking customer temperatures at the door.
  • Reducing the number of tables by half.
  • Disposable menus.
3. College students rebel against full tuition
Empty Harvard Yard. Photo via Reuters

"The coronavirus crisis is forcing a reckoning over the price and value of higher education," the WashPost's Nick Anderson reports.

  • Spoiler: "So far, universities aren’t budging."

The context, per The Post: "Schools geared toward full-time students ... offer, in normal times, academic programs with a personal touch, including seminars, laboratory classes, office hours and research opportunities with faculty."

  • "Much of that vanished when campuses shuttered last month."

The bottom line: "Many schools provided partial refunds for room and board after they sent students home. But they have held firm on tuition, arguing that classes are still moving forward and credit will still be awarded toward degrees."

4. Pictures of America
Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP

Spotted yesterday outside Gelson's gourmet market in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A.

5. Time capsule

WASHINGTON (AP)President Trump urged supporters yesterday to "LIBERATE" three states led by Democratic governors, apparently encouraging protests against stay-at-home mandates aimed at stopping the coronavirus.

  • Two states under Republican leadership — Florida and Texas — took their first steps toward easing restrictions.

How it's playing ...

The Washington Post
6. 65 years ago today
Photo: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images
7. Remembering Paul O'Neill, 84
Paul O'Neill, then Treasury Secretary, pumps gas into his personal Audi TT in Washington in March 2002. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

"Paul O’Neill, a former U.S. Treasury secretary and Alcoa chief executive whose independence and blunt speaking style led to clashes with President George W. Bush, died early Saturday at his home in Pittsburgh" while under treatment for lung cancer, The Wall Street Journal's James R. Hagerty writes.

  • Why he mattered: "O’Neill loved to delve into the minutiae of policy initiatives and hash out the pros and cons with people of all political stripes."
  • "A lifelong pragmatist, he loathed ideologies. He was confident he could figure out a better way to manage almost anything — and appalled that others didn’t always heed his advice."

The great David Hume Kennerly, who took the priceless photo above (across from The Watergate, in 2002), emails me:

I loved Paul, he was a guy who stuck to his own road, and it wasn’t in the slow lane! I asked him how fast that Audi TT would go. He said, "160 miles per hour. I know."
I knew Paul since I first met him working in the Ford White House in 1974, and stayed friends with him ever since.
8. 1 smile to go
Photo by Brian Finke for The New York Times, taken at the LINE DC hotel on Jan. 20.

The N.Y. Times' T Magazine Culture Issue, out tomorrow, celebrates "groups of creative people who, whether united by outlook or identity, happenstance or choice, built communities that have shaped the larger cultural landscape."

The "New Guard" chapter includes "The Journalists":

In this tumultuous period of American politics, there are perhaps more foreign correspondents in Washington, D.C., than ever before, from Sweden to Singapore. What unites them is their fight against the threat of misinformation and their struggle to accurately inform their fellow citizens about what’s happening here — and how it might affect them.

Keep reading.

Mike Allen

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