He's too savvy, been around too many blocks, gotten dusty at too many rodeos, to start a victory dance. Bob Arum, if and when tempted to get the tiniest bit cocky, will recall what happened last time he assumed too hard, and paid for it.
No, not talking about a bout, talkin' politics.
The Bobfather talked to NYF on Wednesday, the day after the Chaos in Cleveland, the verbal rumble between Donald Trump and Joe Biden which was refereed by Chris Wallace, and is regarded as the most trainwreck-y of any debate staged in the TV era.
“I thought Biden did really well,” the 88 year old Brooklyn resident told me. “As good as you can do with this guy.”
He shared that he's seeing the results of polls, and formerly iron-clad institutions in the Senate on the ropes, and he is feeling the momentum surge for Democrats. That has to make people like Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina in worried mode, the promoter noted. But he's not getting ahead of himself, allowing optimism to morph into over-confidence.
I put it to him; if and when on Nov. 3 Arum gets that blue wave, what would he do? Dance?
He paused a beat. “I'd be very happy,” the promoter said. “But let me tell you something..I had a party four years ago. Bette Midler was there. Quincy Jones. I was thinking we'd celebrate a great victory (for Hillary Clinton). It ended with people crying.”
And he wasn't one who said, “Give him a chance, maybe he'll come around,” either. He remembered one of his Tweets, posted after a Trump v. Clinton debate.
“I knew Trump, knew he'd be a puppet for the Russians,” Arum said. “People in New York, in real estate, they knew he got money from Russians. It's like $300 million he owes…they have this guy by the balls.
THIS GUY is Trump, in case you are new to this, and don't know Arum thinks as highly of Trump as…well, I don't think I'm able to summon a comparable creature from within the fight game sphere. (It used to be Don King, but the two Alphas made peace awhile back. See evidence below:
“You're dealing with an insane guy who is not gonna follow rules, you can't debate him, you gotta call him what he is, a clown,” said the Las Vegas resident, who is starting to bang the drums harder and louder for his Oct. 17 superfight pitting Vasiliy Lomachenko against Teofimo Lopez. “He wouldn't condemn white supremacists!”
I was embarrassed while watching the debate in Ohio, I told Arum, for us as a nation. “I agree,” Arum said. “I was in a doctor's office, I had to go for a checkup. I was talking to someone, saying I thought Biden was doing pretty well.” And Arum was told by the someone who thought Trump did well that it would be better to have four more years of Trump, rather than a socialism sweep ushered in by Biden. No, he said, he didn't try and convince the low information debater that Biden's record tells informed folks that AOC wouldn't be named Treasury Secretary. “But I'm feeling very, very confident.
THERAPY, BOBFATHER STYLE
Now and again, I sort of slide from “reporter” mode into another zone, when I ask Arum more so for advice, almost, on how to most sagely interpret some grotesque political clusterfuck or another. I did so on Wednesday, regarding my sadness/anger at how polls show Trump's base of loyalists in the public sector don't seem to be affected by his tacit condoning of the white supremacist gang of neo Nazi wannabees “The Proud Boys.”
“Everything they say is politicized, it's like when you have a football team that's fucking terrible, but people keep team rooting for that team, and yelling at the refs…They're not gonna deviate,” Arum said.
It's true, media covers politics in the same manner they cover pro sports, with a lack of gravity, and regular Joes follow suit, root for the home team, and diss and dismiss “rooters” who like the cross-town team. It's like Yankee vs. Red Sox fans circa 1978, but worse, because blind allegiance in this case means egregious conduct gets over-looked, because people are attached to teams, instead of principles. Arum: “It's what politics has become. A lot of what they call his base, nothing or who knows what would dissuade them from dumping him.”
And Trump warned us about that, he had it pegged long ago, and shame on me for not believing him. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?” Trump said on January 23, 2016 at a campaign stop at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. “It's, like, incredible.”
Warning, Arum offered up some graphic imagery, to illustrate the point. “Trump could've taken out his cock, and pissed all over the stage and it wouldn't have had that much effect on the base. They're gonna keep backing him.”
But not enough, Arum said. And by the way, so you know, he's a connected dude. Harry Reid, a Nevada resident, is good buddies with Arum, and the ex Senate majority leader (2007-2015) and Arum still talk a lot. They talked on Tuesday, the day of the trainwreck debate.
“It's like you saw in the 2018 mid-terms, a blue wave. On Nov. 3rd, you're gonna see a big, blue wave,” Arum predicted. States that in 2016, or hell, even six months ago were solid Red, are now tilting toward Blue, he continued. “States you wouldn't imagine voting for Biden!” And, if that wave arrives, then tomfoolery, and voter suppression, and foreign interference, and deliberate diminishment of the postal service, all of that wouldn't be enough to steal the win from Biden. “There would be nothing anybody could do!”
Plus, you have to figure that plenty of people are keeping powder dry, for shots at Trump. Might we see more information that links Trump to the disgraced and deceased supposed financier, Jeffrey Epstein?
The 2020 runoff for the top slot could look like the 1964 race which saw incumbent Lyndon Johnson of Texas beat the pants off Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, by a 486-52 electoral college margin.
This ad, which only ran once, helped convey the notion that Goldwater might be OK with pushing us into a nuclear firefight.
This ad was also impactful, helping introduce more people to the dark side of Goldwater.
“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” Goldwater said at the convention during his acceptance speech, and you can draw a line between that line of thinking, and how Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr, who may go down in history books as the worst AG of all-time, and folks like Senate leader Mitch McConnell do their business. Just six states went for Goldwater, and one of them was his home state.
DOWN GOES ERNST, DOWN GOES ERNST!
“If Biden wins Iowa,” Arum said, “wins Georgia, wins in Florida, any two, there's nothing to argue about, for Trump.” He ticked off more names, like Iowa first term Senator Joni Ernst, who are in trouble in polls. “They're all going down!” He showed equal or greater spark as he talked about the possibility of the wave than I've heard in his voice in talking about a great number of his fight cards, for the record.
Confession: We talked politics for longer than we touched on boxing. Arum lets Mitt Romney off the hook, because he took a stand during Impeachment, while I don't, and believe Romney is strong when offering up symbolic stands, but is a hypocrite whose facade can't hide a deficiency in true character.
Confession 2: I would have been fine going another 15 minutes talking politricks, but my better instincts won out. So, you might like to know that Arum said he's been working on cementing a date for his guy Kubrat Pulev (Dec. 12 in England) against heavyweight Anthony Joshua. Also, he thinks that the Kell Brook challenge of Terence Crawford will be a ratings winner on ESPN. “I hope to make an announcement on Crawford-Brook Friday,” the Hall of Fame deal-maker said.
I finished up with an item that will make sense for this site, much more than the politics talk does. (Thank you all for indulging me!) Many of you know that it looks like the Nevada commission will be allowing about 250 people in to the Bubble at the MGM to take in the Oct. 17 card topped by lightweight technician Vasiliy Lomachenko versus Teofimo Lopez, aside from production people. “We won't be charging people, we'll be allowing the camps to bring more people, and the rest of the seats will go to first responders,” Arum said.
Good stuff, I replied. Will some of those first responder slots be put aside for New York COVID fighters?
Bob Arum has more political skills than most everyone in the House right now, and most of the Senators, too. What do you think he answered? “Nope. It will be all first responders from Nevada.”
–Contact Michael Woods at LinkedIn if you like