All across the United States, candidates for local, state, and federal offices are spending millions of dollars to get their respective messages in front of us. If Spirited Reasoners were to interview these candidates, not a single one would respond as follows:
Question: Does your campaign have enough money?
Candidate: Absolutely. In fact, we have more money than we can possibly spend. So, we’re asking people to stop contributing to our campaign.
On the contrary, ‘tis the season for candidates to beg—just this one last time, we promise—for that last little contribution. (And we promise we won’t ask again until our next daily deadline.)
Nor would a candidate be likely to respond as follows:
Question: Are you getting enough media coverage?
Candidate: Actually, we’re getting far too much coverage. In fact, I wish the media would leave us alone. That’s why we’re banning all cameras and microphones from our campaign rallies.
Yet, despite the absurd nature of those hypothetical responses, we might, in the case of Donald Trump, be witnessing the first moment in history where a candidate is actually in danger of public overexposure.
Having played down the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring and summer months, President Trump faces a unique challenge—how to overtake Joe Biden during a resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations by using either (a) mass rallies, which backfire by demonstrating the President’s willingness to pour gasoline on the fire; or (b) media commercials, which backfire by implying that liberal Democrats are (somehow) responsible for the current mess, and that we should therefore give the Republicans four more years in the White House.
I saw an interesting post on social media this past week. An acquaintance of mine, one who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, wrote that she was voting for Joe Biden this time. According to her, she wasn’t changing her vote as a result of the economy or any policy decision Trump or Biden had made. In fact, her decision wasn’t even based on the President’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis. She’s just decided she’s tired of all the daily drama. She’s ready for someone normal to be in charge again.
Spirited Reasoners wonder if folks like her now sound like a majority.
So, if that’s the case, and you happen to be Donald Trump’s campaign manager, how do you fashion a rally or a TV commercial to fight back? How do you go about claiming that your overexposed candidate is actually more “normal” than Joe Biden?
Maybe you tell the President to post something normal sounding on Twitter for a change. Or post nothing at all.