Joe Biden, a son of Scranton, Pa., appeals to the same working-class white voters who flocked to Mr. Trump in 2016. Some progressives no doubt look upon him fondly from his days as Barack Obama’s vice president. But Mr. Biden’s three-decades-long centrist Senate record, from his handling of Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing in 1991 to his vote for the 2005 bankruptcy bill, might make him a tough sell to today’s Democratic primary voters, not to mention the fact that he still has those centrist tendencies (he recently came out against a universal basic income). And he’ll turn 78 in November 2020.
In April 2018, Trump enacted a "zero tolerance" immigration policy that took adults irregularly entering the U.S. into custody for criminal prosecution and forcibly separated children from parents, eliminating the policy of previous administrations that made exceptions for families with children. By mid-June, more than 2,300 children had been placed in shelters, including "tender age" shelters for babies and toddlers, culminating in demands from Democrats, Republicans, Trump allies, and religious groups that the policy be rescinded. Trump falsely asserted that his administration was merely following the law. On June 20, Trump signed an executive order to end family separations at the U.S. border. On June 26 a federal judge in San Diego issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Trump administration to stop detaining immigrants parents separately from their minor children, and to reunite family groups that had been separated at the border.
On June 1, President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement saying, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." Soon afterwards, the campaign announced it would hold a Pittsburgh Not Paris Rally across from the White House. The rally was held June 3 at Lafayette Square. The event was sponsored by the Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia. Relatively few people attended the event, with estimates varying from 200 people (including counter-protesters) to "dozens" of supporters. By comparison, more people attended the anti-Trump March for Truth, which was held the same day.
For Democrats, the saying is, it could happen again. In between appeasing Putin and castigating NATO and tweeting out his unhappiness with the Mueller probe, Trump is doing what he loves most: running for president. His re-election effort is typically Trumpian: sprawling, disjointed, and bursting with confidence. In February, Trump announced that Brad Parscale, the digital guru with the Billy Gibbons beard who led his 2016 online strategy, would be his 2020 campaign manager. Meanwhile, Trump has been crisscrossing the country holding fund-raisers, building up a war chest of $88 million in his first 18 months. Many cast members from the original campaign are expected to reprise their starring roles, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, as well as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, and Kellyanne Conway. Even Bannon is starting to find his way back into Trump’s orbit after a bitter falling-out. This fall, Trump plans to deliver slashing stump speeches that stoke his base while defining his likely Democratic challengers long before they launch campaigns of their own. He’s already rolled out his campaign slogan: “Keep America Great.”
For days, Trump had claimed that only Congress could nullify the policy. Shortly before boarding Air Force One for Duluth, however, the president had signed a hastily drafted executive order that effectively ended the family separations. “He was very unhappy,” the Republican who spoke with him recalled. “He was perturbed the immigration issue had gotten out of hand. He’s feeling that being president isn’t as fun as it should be. He thinks he’s not getting the credit he deserves about the economy and North Korea. He said, ‘These people around me don’t know how to sell.’ It’s why he’s going bananas on Twitter. His state of mind is frustration.”
While previous presidents had held rallies in the early days of their presidency to garner support for legislation, such rallies differed from those held by Trump in that they were funded by the White House rather than by campaign committees. One of the advantages of having his campaign committee fund the events is that organizers can more discriminately screen attendees, refusing entry to non-supporters. Trump's February rally in Melbourne, Florida was the earliest campaign rally for an incumbent president.