by Michael Glassner
For six months, Joe Biden has been banking on the belief that the coronavirus pandemic would somehow take President Trump — the most effective and hardest working campaigner in history — out of the game.
Biden is in for some bad news: that’s not going to happen. It will take more than social distancing and a basement hideout to protect Joe Biden from the incredible campaign trail magic of Donald Trump.
The Trump rally phenomenon was never a product of the arena, or the staging, or even the routinely overflowing lines of supporters who couldn’t be accommodated inside even the largest venues. It came from the man himself — and he’s back, with Air Force One roll-up rallies at airport hangers around the country, reminiscent of the “whistle stop” campaigning that was a hallmark of presidential elections a century ago.
President Trump and the First Family have returned to the amazing campaign pace that shocked the political establishment in 2016. The first few events in Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada were just as powerful as the rallies we were accustomed to prior to the pandemic. While COVID forced Trump supporters to change the way they assemble, they more than make up for it with their undying enthusiasm and diehard determination to win.
No other politician ever consistently filled airport tarmacs, arenas, and stadiums week in and week out for years on end, the way Donald Trump has done. But in these uncertain times, we know we can’t rely entirely on what worked in the past. That’s why we’re determined to beat Joe Biden everywhere, not just from the rally stage.
While the Democrats were hiding, hoping their media and Big Tech allies would win the election for them, Republicans were building a historic ground operation. Our extensive network of volunteers was capable of knocking on a million doors per week before Democrats knocked on one. Our state-of-the-art outreach effort is in high gear, contacting 9 million voters in the week of our convention alone. If your state isn’t yet slated for a hanger rally, fear not — we’re organizing 7,500 events around the country to train volunteers, as well.
The President’s ability to bypass a media class that largely despises him and speak directly to his supporters about his agenda and current events has always been instrumental to his political success. It has been a key feature of his presidency, as well. Biden desperately hoped it was a weapon that could be removed from the Trump arsenal in 2020, and that COVID-19 could be used to force a revival of the “front porch” approach to campaigning, where everything has to come through the filter of a media establishment that favors him.
Accordingly, Biden and his staff have made conspicuous COVID caution the central theme of their campaign strategy. The Democratic nominee and his surrogates can’t hold one of their (vanishingly rare) public events, even a televised one, without hitting viewers over the head with images of people wearing masks while standing alone with no conceivable medical reason for doing so.
As if Joe Biden’s verbal gaffes and miscues aren’t cringe worthy enough, watching him speak to empty rooms or backyards while wearing a mask and sitting eight to ten feet away from his small gathering of a handful of reporters or three or four supporters is absurd beyond belief.
Of course, no social distancing scrutiny has ever applied to the thousands of “mostly peaceful” protesters Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have cheered on for months as they’ve filled city streets, ostentatiously — but pointlessly — wearing masks despite being packed together like sardines. In many riots, even the masks are nowhere to be seen.
The Biden campaign’s fastidious COVID protocols are about hygiene theater, not science. The approach offers both a ready-made excuse for the low enthusiasm inspired by the Democratic nominee and a canned retort to any blockbuster Trump campaign event, allowing Biden and his surrogates to indignantly huff that “they shouldn’t have been campaigning at all!”
Just like Biden’s armchair quarterback response to COVID policy — which has basically consisted of indignantly demanding that the President take actions that he has already taken — the wheels are starting to come off his reclusive campaign strategy. For example, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer claimed that President Trump holding an aircraft hanger rally near Saginaw was “distressing,” whereas a Biden event outside Detroit was A-OK. She didn’t give the real reason — that the President’s event was destined to blow Biden’s out of the water (it did) — instead claiming she didn’t trust the President to sufficiently scold attendees about mask use.
The Democrats can say whatever they like. President Trump is back on the campaign trail and — try as they might — they’re not going to stop him from upstaging and outperforming Joe Biden all the way to November.
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Michael Glassner is Chief Operating Officer of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
Photo “Donald Trump Speaking at Rally” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.