The reports gave rise to speculation that not only was the president’s re-election campaign itself ordering campaign items produced in China rather than in the U.S., but that they were attempting to mitigate against the increased costs that would come with the tariffs by pushing for the quick completion of those materials — moves that would provide a double dose of irony for a politician who has famously emphasized prioritizing American jobs and manufacturing.
The concept of a permanent campaign also describes the focus which recent presidents have given to electoral concerns during their tenures in office, with the distinction between the time they have spent governing and the time they have spent campaigning having become blurred. Political observers consider the rise in presidential fundraising as a symptom of the permanent campaign.
Trump's predecessors merged their campaign committees into their party's committee following their election victories. Following his 2016 election victory, Trump eschewed this presidential tradition and retained a separate campaign committee. Trump's campaign committee continued raising funds. In December 2016, the campaign raised $11 million. These moves indicated that Trump was already eying a 2020 run.