Less than one month since his inauguration, Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail. Yesterday’s rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Florida is sure to be the first of many such events.
It seems Trump is giving new meaning to the term “perpetual campaign,” an idea that has been floating around American politics since 1980, when Sidney Blumenthal used it as the title for a book.
As unorthodox as this first reelection rally may be, it is not Trump’s first push towards 2020.
After winning the election in November, Donald Trump took a victory lap by holding a series of rallies in states that delivered him to the White House. And, after all, Florida is a key swing state.
Some political observers are calling Trump’s early start to 2020 “presumptuous.” Shouldn’t one master the art of governing before one begins to campaign for a second tour, many are asking? Some are even pointing out the odds of Trump finishing his first term are slim. There certainly is enough talk of impeachment or forced resignation to warrant some restraint, many are saying.
After Trump’s first 29 days in office, the White House does indeed seem to be in a state of chaos.
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after misleading the vice president and the American people about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Trump’s nominee for labor secretary withdrew when it became obvious he would not be confirmed. Federal courts have brought Trump’s immigration executive order to a grinding halt. Isn’t there enough in Washington, many are asking, to keep Trump busy?
As has been the case since first entering the presidential race, Trump is having a problem with “size.” While he described the crowd at yesterday’s Florida rally as “huge,” the local police estimated the crowd at about 9000. This is much less than the estimated 15,000 who appeared at the same venue for a Trump campaign rally in September 2016.
If history is any guide, Trump will get on the media for underreporting the crowd size. He already prepared his loyal followers by telling them the media will not “show the crowd” … even though the pool feed on every cable channel showed the crowd when he arrived.
The fact is the current crowd size was not as big as his last, a sign Trump supporters may be starting to have regrets. Perhaps a good reason to get a jump on 2020?
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci