Trump wants to hit campaign trail as Biden stays home with virtual rallies: 'He'll be in better mood if out'
With less than six months to go for the election, the president is okay even if the crowd size is reduced to maintain social distancing
President Donald Trump is less than six months away from facing the electorate and with the coronavirus pandemic refusing to let loose its grip on the country, he is finding the going tough. The maverick president has now asked his campaign team to find a way to get back among the people with election rallies. He wouldn't mind if the size of the rallies needs to be reduced to accommodate social-distancing guidelines. The US is the worst-hit country in the pandemic with more than 1.55M people getting affected and over 93,000 dead. The economy has also taken a major hit with at least 33M people losing their livelihoods.
The president's campaign team is working overtime to make Trump's plan real. It is keeping an eye on states where the lockdown is being loosened and modified campaign activities could be allowed soon, a few officials who have featured in the talks over the matter told Politico. In recent discussions with top officials of his campaign and White House aides, Trump asked why he is avoiding campaign events if it's safe for him to travel officially. He recently visited a couple of medical supply facilities in Arizona and Pennsylvania and will go to a Ford ventilator factory in Michigan on Thursday, May 21. The president was holding frequent rallies till the end of February after which the election took a backseat owing to the pandemic. Trump's likely opponent in the November election, Joe Biden, has so far restricted himself to virtual campaigning from the confines of his home studio in Delaware.
Rallies have been one of Trump's major electoral weapons and he has held more than 400 massive rallies since announcing his candidacy for the president before the 2016 election. He loves to connect directly to the people through his dramatic gestures and the restriction over not being able to do has left him disappointed.
Mike Pence is also keen on campaigning
Trump's deputy Mike Pence also has been looking to get back into campaigning and he said this while visiting Capitol Hill to meet Republican senators on Tuesday, May 19. The vice president held events that saw smaller audiences — indicating how his campaign strategy would look like. It would also mean lesser logistical challenges in the age of Covid-19.
Trump's allies also want resumption of his rallies because they believe that the president's mood stays positive when he gets to talk to his supporters. "He enjoys talking to his supporters at these patriotic events, and so the more he's out there doing that, the better mood he's going to be in. That's important in a presidential year," Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign, was quoted as saying by Politico. They also said the president becomes impatient when he is restricted in Washington for a long period and is unable to connect to his supporters.
Miller even called the effort to resume the campaign rallies a "moonshot mission". "The goal is to get as close to a traditional Trump event as possible as we're entering the warmer months here without having to change too much," he said. Trump's campaign is planning to organize a series of virtual events featuring him before May concludes even though the president has shown less proclivity towards digital campaigning. The president has so far used whatever in-person opportunities he had to serve his re-election bid. From speaking at the daily coronavirus briefings, addressing the media to visiting Capitol Hill to meet GOP senators, Trump has used all occasions to serve a political purpose.