Air Force One. Trump 2020, Harding 1920 & McKinley 1896 whistle-stop Presidential races
‘We raised six million out of poverty. We added ten million jobs in four months, a record. We made ventilators, pioneered life saving therapies, reducing mortality 85% since April. We are going to have a vaccine in record time. In one state, a teacher union leader, said we’re going to open schools on November 6th. We are going to have incredible prosperity. We are launching the 1776 school program. This is the most exceptional nation on earth. Wasn’t 2016 the coolest night? I will always stand with the heroes of law enforcement. I received the endorsement of the Fraternal order of police. Unanimous and enthusiastic. PPP I got out of that one. Paris Climate accord was to rip us off. Withdrew. A catastrophe. Saved the auto industry. Buy American and Hire American. I am nominated for two Nobel Peace Prize, Kosovo and Serbia, Israel and UAE. I don’t drink. We have built 340 miles of wall. Build that wall! 2 things work – wall and wheels, never obsolete. We launched the first new branch of the armed forces, the Space Force. Recognized Jerusalem for Israel’s capitol. I will provide school choice for all. Make America the super power of the world. Maintain military might. How good are F-35s? You can’t see the planes. NASA has become preeminent space center. Respect the flag. Keep fighting, winning,, winning, winning. We’re going to make America wealthy again, make America strong again, make America safe again, and make America great again.’
Such is the Trump stump speech for 2020. Air Force One the designation for the two jets which move the Donald J Trump around the country and world.
Fans in the hangar at Newport News Williamsburg Airport during the peaceful protests.
Why not just go on TV and do a virtual speech? According to some history, McKinley and Harding stayed home in the age before radio, television, or the internet.
August 1, 1956 Miami Oklahoma, Paid Off for M’Kinley, Harding, Front Porch Campaign to Replace ‘Whistle-Stop’? Politicians [in 1956] are divided on the importance of ‘whistle-stop’ tours in an election campaign. It is important, of course, for a candidate to ‘get out and meet the folks.’ But just how important is it in an age when candidates, via television, can come into three out of every four American living rooms?
Political leaders of both parties may be missing a bet in not reviving the old-fashioned front porch campaign. It has been notably successful in the past in electing presidents – particularly dignified looking Republican candidates whose themes were prosperity.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently recalled the famous front porch victories won by William McKinley and Warren G. Harding. In an earlier contest William Harrison, [Tippecanoe and Tyler Too] Whig victor in 1840, *** used the whole house. [General] Harrison, who died at 68 a month after taking office, was proud of being born in a log cabin. So horse-drawn log cabins were featured in numerous of his political parades, and these symbols of his modest beginnings helped put him in office. [Harrison campaigned for 1836 election, and not winning, ran continuously thru the 1840 election.]
In 1896 McKinley conducted a front porch campaign from his Canton, Ohio, home on the advice of his mentor, Mark Hanna – helped organize delegations of distinguished visitors to the distinguished candidate, with the Republican party picking up the tab for many of their fares. *** From his front porch [McKinley] sometimes made as many as 20 speeches in 24 hours on the virtues of ‘a full dinner pail. [McKinley’s] Democratic opponent, William Jennings Bryan, the silver tongued orator, spoke 600 times in 29 states. [Bryan] got the crows, McKinley got the votes.
In 1920 Harding campaigned from his front porch at Marion, Ohio, telling the awestruck political pilgrims who chanced that way that what the country needed was ‘’a return to normalcy.’ Gov. James M. Cox, [Harding’s] Democratic rival, made a whirlwind whistle-stop tour. But when the votes were counted the verdict was – for the front porch and normalcy.
Could a front porch campaign win [in 1956]? The growth of mass communications would seem to make it simpler than ever for a candidate to sit at home, sip lemonade and rollup a tidal wave of ballots.
[Candidate] could, under the eye of the TV cameras, add such folks touches – such as strolling out to the barbecue grill in his yard and showing the nation’s housewives his skill at broiling hamburgers. Even in prosperity a candidate might not want his picture taken in an election year while cooking a juicy steak.
The front porch technique offers one big advantage to the Democrats [of 1956]. It would save them the expense of renting a campaign train. [But] the best known front porch in the Democratic party is that on Harry Truman’s big, old, roomy house in Independence, Mo. But Harry says he isn’t available himself. *** The most famous porch in the nation is the controversial one on the White House, built on order of ex-President Truman himself *** End of column. [For 1956, Eisenhower used the White House.]
Post 1956 comment about history. Both McKinley and Harding were from Ohio, McKinley was a veteran of the Civil War, and Harding was born at the end of the Civil War. The 1960 election supposes that Kennedy’s TV performance was significantly more advantageous than Nixon’s.
The post mortem of the 2016 election questioned the Democrat candidate’s lack of appearance and attention in Wisconsin, while Trump campaigned vigorously throughout the upper mid west, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and other states along the Atlantic seaboard, including Pennsylvania. The consensus is that the front porch strategy only works if the other candidate stops campaigning.
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