President Trump formally begins his re-election campaign for 2020 with a rally in Florida on Tuesday night. But in reality, he is running for a second term since taking office.
The former reality TV star and real estate mogul – the first president with no prior political or military experience – used an unorthodox campaign style to win a surprise victory in 2016, with massive rallies for to excite his followers. And he used the same strategy, with a very blurred demarcation line between his official duties and the attempt to sell his agenda, confused with frank politics, since taking office.
In fact, Trump filed its official documents with the Federal Election Commission on January 20, 2017, just hours after its inauguration. And less than a month later, he would hold a rally (also in Florida) funded by his campaign committee. When a reporter asked him if it was too early in his presidency to organize such an event, Trump replied, "Life is a campaign". As president-elect, he also launched a "Victory Tour" in battlefield states.
So, although the Trump campaign may be considered the official beginning of the president's candidacy for a second term, it really has nothing to do with it. Since 2017, Trump has organized more than 60 rallies. Nearly three-quarters of these occurred in 2018, where he often struggled to find retrograde candidates in the mid-term elections.
Perhaps more than any other president in recent history, Trump has benefited from such a comprehensive travel program. And while it's certainly not new for the commanders-in-chief to convince members of their own party in the midterm elections, Trump's approach was very different.
In the end, these rallies themselves looked more like a Trump promotional vehicle – with its own "Make America Great Again" brand image, an atmosphere of heavy and loud bravado, and usually a brief recognition of the candidate who He was there to support him. He also unveiled another slogan "Keep America Great" just over a year after his first term.
If tonight's rally is considered Trump's true "official" pitch, it's about the same time as when President Bill Clinton began to conquer a second term. . It was at the end of June 1995 that Clinton was organizing a fundraiser for his reelection chests (Trump would do it for the first time in June 2017, less than six months after his inauguration) alongside the first one. Dame Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and his wife. Tipper The media have introduced it as its actual launch. But like New York Times In a May 1996 article, it is noted that for a long time there was a "ghost campaign" at the White House, which was trying to use the "rhetorical, ceremonial and majestic possibilities" to help it. to strengthen, even "for[ing] the official announcement of his candidacy ".
Clinton, a gifted speaker, has also thrived in political and commercial environments. He traveled extensively before the 1994 session (which also saw the House of Representatives change party, with the Senate) and was stimulated by political events. And like other presidents, including President Obama, official events aimed at touting job ads or policy deployments would not be so coincidental. unfold in rotating states, the functions of the executive clearing a campaign impression.
And Clinton, like Trump, also tabled his statement from the FEC shortly after taking office; for Clinton, it was less than a month later, not the same day as Trump.
While President Obama officially announced his re-election in April 2011 with a video and fundraiser, he would not hold official rallies until May 2012, long after it became apparent that Mitt Romney would be the candidate of the GOP. But Obama had long been organizing official events in alternative states, which would serve as a basis for his bid for reelection, ultimately successful, with a massive digital infrastructure.
President George W. Bush asked to be re-elected shortly after his first mid-term elections. He would not hold a rally to formally run for a second term until March 2004, when it was also assumed that Massachusetts Senator John Kerry would be the Democratic candidate. Bush also chose Florida for the site of the rally – the state that gave him enough votes to win the poll in 2000 after a lengthy and controversial report that ended with a Supreme Court decision.
Presidents George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both waited until later to officially re-election. The former Bush did not even ask to be re-elected until October 1991 and held his first official fundraiser later in the month. Reagan waited longer before filing his file with the FEC before October 1983 and gave the kickoff to a second term – which he had even hesitated to ask – until the end of January 1984, with an oval television address paid for by his campaign and a rally of the "Spirit of America" in Atlanta, Georgia.
Trump's campaign claims that tonight's Orlando Rally will be different from other campaign rallies that preceded it. This event comes almost exactly four years after his official launch of the campaign, going down the golden staircase of Trump Tower, as he often likes to recall it in speeches and gatherings.
First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will all be present, which is not typical of previous events. Trump's children will also be present, although many of the president's children, especially Don Jr., are often featured as warm-up speakers at Trump rallies. This complete composition gives the impression that they are trying to create a more conventional atmosphere at the official kick-off gathering, with the Republican National Convention being scheduled for August 2020 in Charlotte, NC.
The location of this rally is not accidental either. This will be Trump's seventh rally in Florida since taking office – the best of all states. The site of his first stop after the election campaign on February 18, 2017 was Melbourne, and he organized a rally last month in Panama. He has also traveled to the state four times until mid-2018, when two close allies, Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis, won their Senate and governorship victories, respectively. 39, very tight elections – one of the few highlights for the Republicans mid-term cycle mainly bruised.
Of course, Trump desperately needs to keep the 29 Florida electoral votes in his column by 2020, after winning a victory of just over a percentage point in 2016.
Pennsylvania, which is most in need of keeping 20 electoral votes, will also be listed in its column. Losing these two combined states would practically be a loss.
Even before the start of the mid-thrust, Trump was holding rallies in deep red areas, such as Kentucky and Tennessee. Unlike his 2016 bid, Trump's reelection efforts are more professional and better organized. Therefore, one could expect that he focuses more on the inflection zones that he must gain or keep in his column.
But if Trump has already campaigned for his second term, we should not expect him to slow down in the next few months, as much as he is eager to divert his attention of the Democratic field to itself.
"When the rally schedule is restored, it will be undeniable," said a Trump campaigner.