Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

A Potential Z-Factor in This Year's Elections?

No, not Zenger (though a bit of his snark did make The New York Times this week). We mean Zelenskyy, who did a little trolling of Donald Trump this weekend, inviting the former president to visit Ukraine for a little tour. "If Mr. Trump will come I am ready even to go with him to the front line," said the Ukrainian leader.

Zelenskyy doesn't want to burn too many bridges at this point, since he's not sure who will be in the White House one year from now. That said, note the use of "Mr. Trump" rather than "President Trump," not to mention the offer that Zelenskyy knows full well Trump will never, ever accept. The man doesn't even like to brave the rain, much less the front lines of a war.

We pass this along because if Zelenskyy's situation grows more desperate, and if he is persuaded that there's no possible way to work with a potential Trump administration, this could get interesting. We all know where Vladimir Putin stands, but the Russian president isn't great on TV, doesn't do subtlety well, and is severely limited in terms of his access to the American public.

By contrast, Zelenskyy is very telegenic, which makes sense since he used to be a television star. He's a skilled poker of bears, and he can do interviews with any outlet in America, not to mention appear before Congress. If the Ukrainian plays his cards carefully, he could certainly do things to undermine Trump, specifically The Donald's masculinity/macho image. Imagine, for example, something like this: "President Biden has come to see things for himself, and I am eager to have Mr. Trump do the same. Surely it is not because he is afraid, right? Maybe it is his bone spurs?"

It's a long time until the election, and if Zelenskyy gets his money, he'll probably lie low. But if not, then it will be interesting to see what he does. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates