Trump turns Rose Garden press conference into campaign rally with stealth attack on Joe Biden

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The White House has been called the “bully pulpit” since the days of Theodore Roosevelt because of the opportunity the presidency affords to promote whatever agenda the man in the office wants to — at a reach far beyond that of any political rival.

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In the Donald Trump era, the word “bully” has morphed from its widely accepted usage as a synonym for “wonderful” in Teddy Roosevelt’s time to its modern definition of a “person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable,” a fitting description of our current president.

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The bully pulpit is one reason that incumbent presidents have an inherent advantage when running for re-election.

Incumbents like Trump can simply find an excuse to call the media together for what they claim is an important statement on whatever issue they want, and the compliant journalists will dutifully report the president’s message to the public, no matter how misguided that statement may be and how much of an unfair electoral advantage it may provide.

With Trump’s entire career being an unprecedented exercise in media manipulation, the president — whose marketing points for his re-election lay tattered on the corpses of 134 thousand Americans dead from COVID-19 and on the barely-respirating U.S. economy — sees the bully pulpit as one of the last remaining weapons in his arsenal as he fights off former Vice President Joe Biden’s inroads against him in the states that Trump somehow managed to carry in the 2016 election.

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Unfortunately for Trump, at least some cable news channels are now wise to his tricks and are trying to avoid giving him the free media attention that played a large part in his victory in the last presidential election.

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Thus, when the president called the press to the White House Rose Garden this afternoon — ostensibly for a speech on China — and diverted into an attack on Joe Biden better suited for a campaign attack ad, CNN cut away from his remarks to avoid allowing the president free airtime as a candidate.

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What preceded that likely planned departure into electioneering on the president’s part was mostly the same sort of misleading gibberish that Trump usually spews, dismissed by news analysts as incoherent ramblings that repeated such insane claims as his belief that COVID-19 cases would disappear if we only stopped testing so much.

Here are some brief samples, courtesy of Vox‘s Aaron Rupar:

Trump likely felt the need to try to steal thunder today since Joe Biden gave a well-received address earlier in the day that touted his clean-energy agenda.

Given the fact that not only did Trump not offer any inkling of a second-term agenda besides warmed-over MAGA platitudes, but that he also failed to address any national efforts to improve this country’s disgraceful response to the coronavirus pandemic or answer any questions about the Russian bounties offered on American soldier’s heads, he may as well have stayed in his bunker.

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It was almost as if Trump’s hour-long, incoherent, stream of consciousness speech could have been a paid ad for Joe Biden as a cautionary tale of what happens when an incompetent ignoramus is elected to preside over the fate of the nation.

While Biden’s address today was a clear contrast in both style and substance with Trump,  the presumed Democratic candidate really doesn’t need to do much campaigning to win at this point.

All Biden has to do is let Trump be Trump and he should easily win in a landslide…if this election is run freely and fairly, without foreign interference — a huge, if questionable, assumption.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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