Patriots Campaign Update: Who Benefits From A Presidential Race In Quarantine?
May 15, 2020 8:18 pm
Tags: Campaign, DC Exclusives - Original Reporting, Donald Trump, Elections 2020, Joe Biden, Media, Patriots Only, Premium Content, Social Media, Trump Rally
Categories: Campaign DC Exclusives - Original Reporting Donald Trump Elections 2020 Joe Biden Media Patriots Only Premium Content Social Media The Daily Caller Trump Rally
The 2020 presidential campaign is shaping up to be a race like no other — primarily because there is no precedent for a quarantined campaign.
Widespread lockdowns across the country coupled with the fact that both President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden fall squarely into the higher risk category for COVID-19 complications have already changed the calculus that has driven election cycles for decades — and the election is still more than five months away.
While the last few election cycles have certainly seen an uptick in the use of social media for campaign purposes, the coronavirus pandemic has left the two remaining candidates with very little choice but to rely heavily on their presence across multiple social platforms.
But the question remains whether a media-driven campaign will help or hurt those involved — and at least as far as Biden is concerned, the decision so far appears to be split.
Some have said that lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have served to protect Biden, sparing him the stress and rigor of daily meetings, town halls and rallies.
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) May 12, 2020
Trump even offered to share rapid testing capabilities with Biden in order to get him back on the campaign trail.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) May 8, 2020
The former vice president himself weighed in on the notion that he had been “hiding in his basement,” saying that he was simply heeding the advice of experts and he did not see how that could hurt him.
Joe Biden on decision to stay off the in-person campaign trail: “The idea that somehow we are being hurt by my keeping to the rules and following the instructions that have been put forward by the docs is absolutely bizarre.” https://t.co/cF79cNe8cG
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 12, 2020
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon defended the decision as well, arguing that Biden was still able to connect despite being socially distanced from the typical campaign. “Voters don’t give a shit about where he’s filming from,” she said. “What they care about is what he’s saying and how we connect with them.”
Biden CM @jomalleydillon has read the “hiding in the basement” stories, takes, and op-eds and says shove it:
“Voters don’t give a shit about where he’s filming from.
What they care about is what he’s saying and how we connect with them.” https://t.co/SKsTChfCvP
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) May 12, 2020
Lis Smith, former communications director for Pete Buttigieg, said that as far as Biden was concerned, “the death of the traditional presidential campaign will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) May 7, 2020
But some critics have said that even limiting his exposure has not helped Biden, pointing to polls that have failed to impress and several interviews that have only resulted in more gaffes and unforced errors. (RELATED: Juan Williams Defends Biden Gaffes By Turning The Spotlight On Trump)
Proof that Biden stuck in his basement is killing the Democratic candidate: he can’t even lead outside the error margin in Deep Liberal Blue Georgia… https://t.co/ecboaEQ0yD
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) May 13, 2020
“Dementia Joe, Sleepy Joe, Creepy Joe… there’s an entire discourse on the internet right now that’s painting you as creepy and old and out of touch and kind of lame. How do you fight back against that?”
JOE BIDEN: “young people are not getting all their news from the internet” pic.twitter.com/sIjZYj2UTN
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 & get the APP (@TrumpWarRoom) May 13, 2020
Biden’s effectiveness from the basement hinges on his ability to reach people through virtual town halls and interviews — like the one he gave Thursday with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. In that interview, Biden confused the coronavirus death toll and job loss numbers, told voters who believed sexual-assault accuser Tara Reade not to vote for him and attempted to have a conversation with a prerecorded video.
Watch Joe Biden Try To Have A Conversation With A Pre-Recorded Video https://t.co/Pcf2Snfo36
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 15, 2020
Axios’ Jonathan Swan said Friday that the Trump campaign has been “completely demolishing” Biden online.
“There is just an objective fact that even people close to Biden will acknowledge this which is that President Trump, his campaign is absolutely demolishing him online,” Swan told Fox News anchor Ed Henry. “It is not even close. You look at engagement, fund-raising, they are absolutely obliterating him.”
Swan went on to suggest that Biden’s best hope would be an electorate that was more interested in making the election “a referendum against Donald Trump” than in whether or not Biden was actually campaigning effectively.
The topic came up on Friday’s “The Five” as well, and host Greg Gutfeld assessed the Biden strategy as “less is more.”
Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy began the segment by saying she’d like to see Biden questioned directly on whether he believed Tara Reade was lying when she accused him of sexual assault, saying he was effectively “victim shaming.”
“As far as Joe Biden campaigning from his basement I think he’s using coronavirus to get out of debate and the debates are going to be critical,” Kennedy added. “We have to see spontaneous moments to make sure the person is going to lead the free world can do so and respond to barbs and intellectual challenges. So far, Joe Biden has really been protected from that.”
Dana Perino pointed out the fact that most of the interviews Biden has done have been with friendly reporters like MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Lawrence O’Donnell. “He has that gaffe, the mess up at the beginning, mixing up the deaths versus the jobs numbers,” Perino said. “I’m not sure how he gets better at any of this before he would have to face President Trump in a debate before the election.”
“The way he gets better is not being seen,” Greg Gutfeld replied. “The only candidate in history where the strategy is less is more. Imagine having a product where advertising is a bad idea. Research shows the more people who learn about our cod-liver yogurt, the more people hate it. That is Joe Biden. That’s why he’s in the basement like the granny in ‘Evil Dead 2.’ It’s ironic that what’s threatening the American public is what’s offering immunity to Joe.”
Cohost Jesse Watters argued that Biden’s campaign stood out in stark contrast to Trump’s — and not in a way that would be good for him.
“Trump has what it takes. Biden just doesn’t have what it takes,” Watters explained. “He doesn’t believe in himself. If you listen to his answers, he’s not even fighting for the votes. He is like, if you don’t believe me, vote for Trump. What do I care? He used to end his speeches, ‘You know, check me out. If you don’t like it, vote for the other guy.’”
Watters concluded by saying, “He’s going to have a tall mountain to climb because sooner or later, this pandemic is going to end and he’s going to have to get out there.”
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