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Speaker 1: (00:00)
This is the Thomas guide your roadmap for navigating a world with your guide, John Thomas, political savant, world-class analyst and culture critic. No need to Google directions. Just buckle up and enjoy the ride. This is let Thomas guide with your host, John Thomas. It’s our hundredth episode and the gloves are coming off and it it’s go negative and all. Explain why Iowa is still so important in the presidential process. That and more this episode of the Thomas guide.

Speaker 2: (00:44)
Welcome back to the 100th episode of the Thomas guide. Gosh, I can’t believe we’re already here and I want to sincerely thank you for staying with me through this journey for subscribing@thetguy.com and if you haven’t, if you haven’t yet subscribed, I’ll forgive you. It’s not too late. Go to the T guy.com. Sign up for my email list. You’re going to get exclusive access behind the scenes videos that I cut a couple of times a week. Uh, speeches, I’m giving insider tips, free eBooks, and the list goes on. Not to mention a daily email every time a new episode is uploaded. So the T guy.com. We’re a hundred episodes deep. I look forward to the next a hundred. So thanks for staying with me on this journey. I hope you find it valuable. Uh, and uh, hopefully a little entertaining. Okay, let’s get into the big story. This is what people aren’t talking about yet, but they will next week.

Speaker 2: (01:46)
The gloves have come off. Now that Iowa has happened really up until I will, everything was fairly roses in petunias in terms of the ad Wars. Uh, it was really, the ads were about picking fights with Donald Trump. It really wasn’t candidate against candidate, but now the rubber’s hit the road. Campaigns can no longer run just on a positive agenda, especially if they’re running behind. And so I’ve seen just in the last couple of days a significant shift, uh, in a messaging Tom Stier when negative just today with this new 62nd ad where he attacks P Buddha judge and Joe Biden, he goes right in for it. And this is what we would call a contrast spot. But it also is a process spot. And you’ll see what I mean. We’ll unpack it. Let’s first roll the clip.

Speaker 3: (02:47)
Four years ago, Donald Trump beat the democratic establishment and then he outlasted democratic insiders in Washington on impeachment. Despite his obvious crimes and corruption, the president is now, if we don’t do something different this time around, he’ll win again. That’s the hard truth. We simply can’t afford to nominate another insider or an untested newcomer who doesn’t have the experience to be Trump on the economy. We need to think different. Francis Tom Stier is a progressive businessman who left his company and is using his time and money to be in corporations and address climate change. He can expose Donald Trump as a fraud and failure on the economy. He’s running on the economy. These running on the idea that Democrats can’t grow an economy are a bunch of socialists who can’t afford to vote for. My job is to take on Mr. Trump and kick his ass on the economy on comms dire. And I approve this message.

Speaker 2: (03:47)
So there’s a couple of things here. First of all, let me just say, I really enjoy watching negative campaigning, not because it, uh, I’m a mean spirited person, but because when you decide to pull the trigger and go negative, first of all, uh, you never attack down. Or if you’re smart, you don’t attack down. Sometimes candidates get thin skinned and they just can’t control themselves. But typically the ad Wars tell you everything you need to know about where a candidate things he or she is positioned. Clearly. Tom’s dire understands that if Buddha judge does not fall, if Biden does not fall, and if Sanders does not fall, there’s nowhere for him to go. So he’s swinging at everybody. The challenge with doing that is the negative doesn’t stick as well when you’re swinging at everybody. Typically, if you have the luxury, you want to poke at one person who was in your lane, see them fall and hope that the votes, uh, disproportionally scatter to you.

Speaker 2: (04:51)
Now, how do we know that if I balk candidateX , the votes scatter to me? Well, we know before we make the bonk of what’s going to happen. And we D we can test it. It’s called a pinprick test in polling. And we test negatives and then we do something called a re vote. And then we see where the votes scatter. And we also see when we go negative with a particular message, which voters are most receptive or, or uh, what, what message is most powerful with the voters who will scatter to us? So it does you really no good if you start, uh, knocking everybody, you don’t think the votes scattered, do you? So what Stiers trying to do here is of course, tear down Pete calling him quote the untested newcomer, meaning he’s a risk because he doesn’t have the experience. And truthfully that is the case.

Speaker 2: (05:53)
He is a risk. Yes, he’s a fresh face, but he’s an absolute risk. Now, what I think is funny is Tom Stier is an electoral risk as well. Tom may have made a lot of money, but he’s a risk. He’s never even won a local race like mayor of South bend, Indiana, which by the way is smaller than the city of Burbank. Just put that in perspective. So Stier is a risk in itself. Biden, they call another insider and establishment figure. That’s a good hit. Um, especially if you’re trying to position yourself as the outset, one of the outsiders in the race, and then Stier drops the a bomb. My job quote is my, well, my job is to take on Mr. Trump and kick his AE on the economy in quote. So what Stire wants to do is, again, always beat up on Trump because that’s good.

Speaker 2: (06:53)
He’s trying to make the argument as Biden is failing, that he’s the only one that can take on Donald Trump. In fact, that was the Biden argument, but now that Biden looks weak, Stier feels that that’s his lane. He can brand Biden to ex expedite his decline as an insider establishment figure show that Pete, Buddha, judge who’s surging, because he did enjoy, he is enjoying a balance from Iowa, which is actually pretty remarkable if you think about it. The winter really AP can’t even call a winter because we don’t know definitively whether it’s Sanders or Biden or or Buddha judge who won Iowa. But Buddha judge claim victory early. Well actually everybody claimed victory, but Buddha judge legitimately claim victory from a delegate standpoint and he’s enjoyed the balance. I think I was looking at his comms director, Liz Smith on Twitter, I think who the judge did something like 20 broadcast TV shows.

Speaker 2: (07:54)
I’m talking a Kimmel Fallon called bear Southern, like I think it was 20 of those shows in the last 48 hours. It’s crazy, but that’s going to cause you to grow quickly if there’s enthusiasm around you, you’re getting the media coverage helps offset money that you may not have for national ad campaign cause you’re focusing on New Hampshire. So we’ll get into the polls and how, I know he’s surging and kind of what that means later on. But this Stier ad is a little bit desperate in my opinion. I see what he’s trying to do here. The, the moderator says that, or the narrator says that Stiers using his time and money to be Trump. Okay. The problem is many Mike Bloomberg, Mike Bloomberg is Stier on steroids. He’s richer than Stier. He’s putting more money in than Stire. He’s spending his time and money and fortune to beat Trump and heck one can make the argument that anything you like about Stire, you probably like about Bloomberg times too, I suppose.

Speaker 2: (09:03)
Stier is to the left of Bloomberg. They both are pro climate change, pro gun control, but Stire is the what I would frame as the OJI anti-Trump impeach Trump climate change guy. He’s, he’s further to the left. He’s more passionate on the issue now. Bloomberg’s been spending hundreds of millions of dollars every cycle for better part of a decade to get Democrats elected, but he hasn’t been as vocal. Bloomberg didn’t start the impeach now. Dot org or whatever Stiers a Styers website ad spend was, which really by the way, was just a, a clever way for star to grow an in house email list so that he had an email list that he could rent from his own organization but rented for his presidential campaign. He could have a, a foundation of activists to build from when he ran for president. So he’s willing to spend for a long period of time.

Speaker 2: (10:03)
Now we’re not seeing other than South Carolina where he’s getting some traction. We’re not seeing that traction nationally yet. He spent literally $150 million so far. So we’ll see. I don’t, I don’t particularly like this ad because he’s getting into this process argument, which is a vote for me because I’m procedurally the one who can be Trump on the economy. And by the way, an admission Stire made here without saying it is economy’s pretty good. He didn’t say the economy’s good cause he doesn’t want to give Trump that credit. But that’s what he’s saying. He’s saying it takes a business person to be able to fight Trump’s narrative of the economy’s good. Cause we all know what’s good. And the only person who can beat him is somebody who exposed him as a fraud. He is, is somebody who really understands how to make money. Remember Stier is not like he built necessarily big businesses.

Speaker 2: (11:01)
He’s a hedge fund manager or was, I think Bloomberg can make a better argument about being a business person and star. But here we go. We’ll see if this ad works, but you can see the gloves are off. Nobody’s playing nice anymore. And speaking of the gloves coming off, Joe Biden is getting nasty. He’s going after mayor Pete and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire like his life depends on it. Guess what it does? Biden’s by needed a top to finish in Iowa, he almost slipped into fifth place. Amy Klobuchar. Perhaps if she’d had a couple more days of organization, maybe if she wasn’t stuck in the Senate for the impeachment trial, Amy Clover probably could have beat bye. So he’s on life support. He’s imploding. I’m hearing, I’m hearing his supporters, his most ardent supporters are all turning on him. He needs a good showing. Well, he really needs to win New Hampshire, but I don’t think he’s going to win New Hampshire, but he needs a very good showing.

Speaker 2: (12:11)
He needs a beat. Expectations now underperform expectations in New Hampshire because if he gets clobbered in New Hampshire, that could break his so-called firewall in South Carolina and then he’s got a, he’s dead. He’s literally dead. So here’s what I pulled, because again, it shows you their words and language and positioning shows you where they think they are in the horse race and how they get out of their hole. Biden is swinging mayor Pete Sanders. But listen, he doesn’t attack Elizabeth Warren, who’s ahead of him in the polls and why? Because he’s just whacking for the heck of it at the top too. Number one, he thinks me or pizza in his lane and that’s true is but also he’s trying to go after Sanders cause he wants to stop Sanders from running away with this thing. Biden really would like a Sanders Biden fight here. Now here’s what you can’t see, but I did. You won’t see it when I play the clip. Biden is reading directly 100% from a teleprompter, which means his team and his strategists and his comms people wrote this verbatim. This is a strategic speech because he’s trying to drive the news cycle going after mayor Pete and the burn. Let’s listen to the clip and then I’ll unpack.

Speaker 4: (13:37)
And it was as a nominee for the party, every Democrat in America, up and down the ballot, blue States, red States, purple States, it’s easy and easy districts and competitive ones. Every Democrat will have to carry the label. Senator Sanders has chose for himself, chosen for himself. He calls him, and I don’t criticize him, he calls himself a democratic socialist. Well, we’re already seeing with Donald Trump is gonna do with that. So when Sanders attacks me for having baggage, I have to tell you the 60 plus candidates that I campaigned for in the toughest districts in the country just two years ago, don’t see me as baggage. Mayor Pete likes to attack me as well, and he’s a good man. He calls himself a [inaudible]. He talk, calls me part of the old failed Washington. Well, really was it a failure that I went to Congress to get Obamacare passed in the law? Was it a failure when I got past the implementation recovery act? And prevented an economic collapse. Another great depression. Was it a failure when I worked to get the Iran nuclear deal done? Was it a failure of the Paris climate accord? The valance skins rominak the chemical weapons treaty, the Brady bill, the ban on weapons wasn’t a failure.

Speaker 4: (14:54)
Is he really saying, you know, Obama, Biden administration was a failure. Pete just say it out loud. I’ve great respect for America, Pete and his service to this nation. But I do believe it’s a risk to be just straight up with you for this party to nominate someone who’s never held an office higher than mirror of a town of 100,000 people in Indiana. I do believe it’s a risk.

Speaker 2: (15:20)
So there you go. He’s swinging. He’s reading from a prompter. Uh, this is fully planned and strategic. Is it going to work? No, I don’t think so. But it’s the only card he’s got left to play at this point. So play on a, because that’s all you got. Uh, but you see how he taught, he transitions and this is a smart pivot. Whoever wrote for it, when he talks about he embraces a slight negative word that Bernie or, or peed have said about him using the word failure. Was it a failure? And then he goes back to his message points. Was it a failure when I passed Obamacare? Was it a failure? That’s a, it’s a very smart pivot. Uh, so whoever wrote for them that for him, uh, gets, gets kudos there. But talking about mayor Pete is a risk. Uh, Bernie Sanders is a socialist and essentially is going to lose.

Speaker 2: (16:16)
The problem is, and I’ve, I have talked about this on the show for months now and I hate to say that the no stir Thomas is right. Seems to be right again about Biden. But, uh, we’ll see. Time will tell there’s still time for him to recover. It’s getting short though. But when your fundamental campaign is about a viability argument, not a passion, not a message, uh, not, not what you can do for people, but the vibe that you are the viable candidate who can be Trump. The second you start, voters start to see cracks in that viability, you begin to fall apart. And then when you underperform, dramatically underperform in a loud way, which happened in Iowa. I know we don’t have the full results, but we know that by Blewett and Iowa, all of a sudden your fundamental frame is no longer relevant and believable.

Speaker 2: (17:23)
So Biden says, I’m going to restore the soul of the nation. I get it. It’s this called the safe hands model. But fundamentally it’s about that he’s the one who can beat Trump like a drum. Well, if you can’t even get past fourth place in Iowa, how in the world are you going to beat Donald Trump? So his message of, well, it’s a risk for Pete. It’s a risk, uh, for Sanders. I just never, and because Biden needs more than that because he’s gonna, he was gonna if he had a bumpy path there, why would you support Biden then go to your flavor? Does your cause if Biden doesn’t look viable, there’s other people saying things that may be more attractive to you than what Biden has to offer. So I don’t, I think running on a viability process, argument alone is dangerous and risky. And here’s the other thing, I always think the viability argument or this process argument is silly because we’re expecting a voter to think like a pollster or political strategist in who is most viable and understanding the polls and fundraising and messaging in swing States. What I see all the time is this is a general rule of thumb. Your perception in men in marketing is your reality. So if you think

Speaker 5: (19:01)
that [inaudible]

Speaker 2: (19:03)
Bernie Sanders is the best thing since sliced bread, you believe in him, you trust him, um, you think he can change America? Well guess what? You think he’s viable to you because you’re voting for him. And if you’re willing to Pell the lever and you’re willing to cross over and make that decision, well eventually, so will others. So, and then you’re looking for confirmation biases. And that’s what oftentimes the campaigns are trying to give you, which is Bernie’s saying, Oh, here are polls, here’s fundraising numbers. So we’ve outperformed here. We can do this if we just stick together. So I never really bought the whole premise of I’m running on viability alone because if I’m in for mayor Pete, if I’m willing to vote for him, therefore he’s viable. So I think it’s only going to get worse for Biden, but the gloves are coming off.

Speaker 2: (19:55)
People aren’t playing nice anymore, and it’s only going to get nastier as this contest goes on because there’s no more time to just let things play out. You’ve got to tear people down. You got to make room for your own lane. WIC, Lee, another piece of news from the trail. Andrew Yang did not have a good night in Iowa nationally. The morning console poll that came out yesterday had yang at 5% nationally. He’s not going to be the nominee and he can’t math his way, talking to voters and donors and giving them money that is viable any longer because people get it. I will cast ballots and it didn’t happen. So here’s what’s happened since Iowa. Andrew Yang’s campaign has laid dozens of staffers. Uh, so does it. That ain’t good. Now, of course, it’s because he’s, his money raising is slowing down. He can’t afford to keep the lights on.

Speaker 2: (21:01)
Nevermind a big payroll. So of the now yang saying, Oh, don’t worry, we always planned to do this after Iowa really did yet. No, that’s actually, I mean unless you were always planning on just getting demolished in Iowa, but I doubt it. But here’s the tale I looked up. Who are the people who are the, what are the positions that he actually laid off? Some of them that he fired was the national political and national policy directors of the campaign as well as the deputy national political director. These are all senior level positions. You don’t fire these level positions if everything’s going well in your organization and if you still stand a chance. So Andrew is going to be lucky if he makes it to super Tuesday and it’s not because he wants to drop out because he all of a sudden realizes, Oh, what do you mean I’m not going to be the democratic nominee?

Speaker 2: (21:54)
Oh, he’s known that for a long time now. It’s because he can’t even afford to keep the lights on. He can’t make payroll. He can’t pay the plane tickets to go from New Hampshire to South Carolina for he and his staff. That is why he’s going to pull the plug. So we’ll keep, go keep watching this. But the yang gang is not long for this world. But Hey, I got to give the guy credit. I think he’s probably the most human of all the candidates on the democratic side. Uh, he kinda says it like it is now. I guess in a weird way, he has the freedom to be human because when you have no shot, what do you have to lose? Why do you have to be stuffy about it? You can take risks, run nontraditional campaigns, uh, because why the heck not right? So, all right, getting into Iowa, I did a, uh, a segment on Fox business yesterday against a democratic strategist.

Speaker 2: (23:01)
I’m not, if you want to see the full clip, you can go to the T guide.com. We’ll also send out a, uh, we’ll also send out an email about it as well, or you can check it out on my Facebook. But, uh, I went against this democratic strategist who actually got kind of snippy. I’m not going to roll that portion of the clip, but it’s probably worth a watch if you’re, if you’re interested. But what I did here, and I wanted to play it on the podcast, I went into why Iowa, in my opinion, is still really important to keep as the first state. It kicks off the presidential primary series because what you’re hearing after this botch, I mean, in a completely unmitigated disaster, it happened in Iowa, uh, with the Democrats. Um, you’re hearing a lot of calls and pressure to abolish Iowa as the first state.

Speaker 2: (23:54)
What are we doing? Um, particularly from Democrats who have, who have really not wanted, I want to have that much influence, but I want you to listen to the few seconds here cause I make the case for why I think actually I was still very important in the process. It’s very, very healthy that it’s in the order that it’s in. So let’s, let’s listen to it. What does the stay say, John, about Iowa? Should they be so important in our, in our electoral process. And w um, there is no clear winner. It’s confusing now for many voters. Where’s the enthusiasm? Well, let’s go back to maybe spreadsheet class one Oh one and learn how to either work a spreadsheet, count 99 different captains to report pretty simple data. It’s pretty amazing that the Democrats managed to botch something is really, truly simple. So let’s clear that out.

Speaker 2: (24:45)
But I also look, the woke left doesn’t like Iowa as a first car, as a first state in the primary process because I think it’s too white. I actually like Iowa because it’s a representative of both rural America, suburban America and city and big cities. I think it’s healthy that somebody can’t just buy a couple of big media markets and when the, when the first date you have to work the retail politics. So look, I know the left doesn’t like it because they don’t think the state’s woke enough, but I think it’s healthy for the process. And is that a better myself? Um, no, I really do believe that Iowa is healthy for the process. Something about having to work the retail side of things. Uh, ease is good. Uh, it also gives a chance for lesser known candidates to compete who might not have the resources at the outset of the race that they can compete.

Speaker 2: (25:38)
I think it’s, it’s good. I know it’s annoying to big establishment candidates because they think it’s beneath them to talk to people in overalls and in, you know, talk to farmers and small gymnasiums and, but I, I like everything about it. I really do. Now the democratic party needs to learn how to work a spreadsheet that I would recommend that I recommend that, but um, but I do think it’s good for the process, good and healthy for the process. As frustrating as it is to candidates. All right. I got to go through a little bit of polling because as we go into the weekend, we’re, we’re coming up on, uh, New Hampshire really fast and Pete, Buddha judge is surging, coming out of Iowa, going into New Hampshire. I want to go through the latest polling. Two polls have just come out. The Boston globe, Suffolk university poll has Sanders at this is taken between the fifth and sixth Sanders at 24% Buddha judge at 23% that’s margin of error.

Speaker 2: (26:43)
People, Warren, at 13, I ended 11 Clover chart six, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Um, that’s remarkable for a couple things. One, Sanders has been leading for several weeks now in, in New Hampshire, but Buddha judge was down, uh, closer to the low teens, just a few weeks, just a couple of weeks ago. Warren obviously is struggling and look at those Biden numbers at 11%. That’s devastating. So is Pete enjoying a moment? For sure. He got a balance out of Iowa, despite all the chaos. He’s really, it’s clear he’s enjoying it. Sanders is probably upset because he’s thinking, Hey, I won the popular vote in Iowa. I won the first round of delegates in Iowa. Clearly, and perhaps he’s winning. I think three delegates a be booted judge. He might end up still winning Iowa, but it won’t matter from a, a, a, a, a boost momentum standpoint. But we’ll see. This is a do or die state for Bernie Sanders.

Speaker 2: (27:56)
If Sanders wins this by a healthy margin, this becomes a Sanders insert. Somebody else race could be a Sanders Buddhist judge race, but I think he’s booted. It is going to start to fall apart in South Carolina. He’s going to fall apart in super Tuesday. Now if Buddha judge wins New Hampshire, that could whip, saw him with big momentum. Now he still has a fundamental problem, which is African-Americans don’t care much for Pete, Buddha judge. So, uh, we’ll see. Also Buddha judge because he’s a top two candidate right now in the early States. He’s going to get the front runner treatment. We just talked about it. Biden’s picking on him, Stiers picking on him and Minnie. Mike is going to come after him if Mike thinks he’s in his lane and in Buddha jig is in Mike Lane. So what a judge could go into super Tuesday and just get lambasted by an onslaught of negative advertising for mini Mike.

Speaker 2: (28:59)
So we’ll we watching that closely. The other pole sit, the better spread. This is same date range from the fifth to the sixth. This is uh, uh, channel seven news in New Hampshire. Um, this is an Emerson poll. Emerson, the Suffolk university poll I think is better from a methodological standpoint, but Emerson’s still is. Okay. It has Sanders, it 32 Buddha judge at 23, which is where Buddha judge the 23 and the other pole, Warren at 13, Biden at 11 Biden. By the way, it was at 11 in the Suffolk university poll I just talked about and everybody down. Hello. So we’ll see. Is Sanders at 32 or is he at 24 where the other survey says, I don’t know, hopefully we’ll have more polling between now and New Hampshire. But if, if Buddha judge is surging, numbers could be moving very quickly holing, even if the methodology is correct, it’s a snapshot in time tells us where we were yesterday or last week.

Speaker 2: (30:10)
It doesn’t necessarily, if somebody closing fast or gaining fast, it doesn’t tell us where we’ll necessarily be in a couple of weeks. So the news is we’re going to have another check, which is New Hampshire and it’s a popular vote. So fear not we’re going to know, we should know by the end of the night of who actually won New Hampshire. So what am I looking for in New Hampshire? Really a couple things. One can, can Sanders dominate New Hampshire, become the guy to beat. Two, can Buddha judge win New Hampshire? This is a must Wednesday for him and reclaim front runner status and then somehow help him saw perhaps the momentum, just sheer force ends up figuring out how to allow him to build a coalition necessary to Mount a truly viable effort as we go into super Tuesday. And, and lastly, does Joe Biden stay in fourth? If he does, it’s probably devastating enough to crack his so-called firewall in South Carolina, causing you to have either a second place finish in Iowa to Tom Stier or a week first place, which might be equally as damning all but putting the nail in Joe Biden’s coffin.

Speaker 2: (31:28)
If Buddha judge pulls off New Hampshire, and if Biden loses South Carolina, my prediction is that the establishment rallies behind Pete, Buddha, judge, and this becomes a booty judge, Bernie Bloomberg, the three B’s fight after super Tuesday. That’s where I think this goes with giving this, giving you an edge, perhaps a well, I don’t want to predict that yet. I’d say it’s a three-way fight and I’ll know more as we get into that. Stackup all right. Of course, you always can tweet me at the Thomas guide. Give me your questions. I love them. And to get a get to go to your mailbag and try to answer some questions, go to the T guide.com for all of our episodes, but really subscribe on my email list. It’s free. So the T guy.com do it today because you’re going to get exclusive content that you’re not going to get on my podcast.

Speaker 2: (32:32)
You’re going to get access to those. I’m doing an ebook to train you how to think like a strategist, access to all my Fox news and wherever else. Uh, I, I think I mentioned, uh, I’m being interviewed, uh, in a class at USC. We’ve got some cameras in there. Uh, so we’ll upload that and it’s only available to my email subscribers. I’m doing something called the hammer forum in West Los Angeles in a week or so. And uh, it’s me against a couple of liberals. The audience is incredibly liberal and we’re going to be, we’re supposed to be talking about political advertising whether or not it works. I have a feeling that the audience is going to be screaming at me about Trump, but I’m really looking forward to it and only my email subscribers are going to get to see what happens because I’m videoing the whole of it.

Speaker 2: (33:19)
So subscribe to the T guy.com and if you really, really want to do more, cause I get this all the time, I get like private DMD John, I subscribed to your email list. It’s great. Listen every day. But what else can I do? Well, number one, you can tell a friend that might like the show. That’s what you do. But you also can do is go on iTunes or whatever platform you listen on and leave me a review. I really appreciate it if you’d do it because that’s helps the algorithm grow our show, get more promotion and other people who stumble upon the page. Honestly, I know when I’m shopping for things, whether it’s podcasts or something on Amazon, I go right to the reviews because of people weren’t paid to write things. Say it’s a good product, well then that probably means is a decent product. So leave me a review. Thanks so much for tuning in to my hundredth episode of the T guide. We’ll catch you on Monday or another episode of the Thomas guide.

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