Joe Biden’s Front Porch Campaign

A ‘front porch’ campaign is one in which a presidential candidate makes speeches and greets visitors from or near the candidate’s home.

There have been several front porch campaigns in American history. The most famous of which was William McKinley vs William Jennings Bryan in 1895.

Bryan, a colorful campaigner, toured the nation making speeches on his favorite topics while McKinley stayed at home receiving tightly controlled visitors and addressing their issues.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered President Trump’s style. Like Bryan, Trump is a populist who likes to stick to a few favorite issues. Like Bryan, Trump feeds off the energy of his campaign crowds. The pandemic has caused the cancellation of some events and turnout at other events to dwindle.

Biden’s campaign, bitterly protested by Republican operatives as ‘hiding in his basement’, has allowed the Democrat to tightly control messaging. Communications in 2020 offer far more opportunities to target that messaging than in McKinley’s day.

Trump’s recklessness is a major issue in the 2020 campaign. Biden’s modern version of a front porch campaign may be a sensible, careful, well-managed strategy the nation wants and needs in these times.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to: Unknown author – Scanned at McKinley Presidential Library, Canton OH from print, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17479619

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