[guest post by Dana]
Barring any change in his schedule, President Trump will head to Kenosha tomorrow, in spite of Gov. Evers telling him not to come. Meanwhile, to the consternation of local Democrats, Joe Biden has opted out of making a visit today ahead of Trump:
Donald Trump, who’s planning to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, is claiming the mantle of law and order even as he stokes conflict between protesters and his supporters. Trump is trying to take credit for restoring order by loudly calling for an influx of National Guard troops and painting Democrats as too fearful of alienating their base to denounce violence.
Joe Biden last week called for a halt to the violence, though it took him longer than many Democrats wanted. The Democratic nominee decided over the weekend that he would not travel to the pivotal battleground state on Monday ahead of Trump’s visit. Instead, the Biden campaign plans to ramp up messaging that Trump’s rhetoric has only inflamed hostilities on the streets, beginning with a speech in Pennsylvania Monday.
Both party nominees are attempting to strike the right balance between the civil unrest and law and order that will benefit them most. In starker terms, how do Biden and Trump effectively condemn the violent civil unrest and urge the cities to regain control while, at the same time, use the turmoil to their advantage? And how does one effectively convey a ‘law and order’ theme in the battleground state:
The balancing act over the riots and police misconduct marks a new, intensifying phase of the election. Both campaigns are preparing for a burst of activity: Biden plans to break his monthslong hold on travel to swing states in the coming weeks, with stops expected initially in Wisconsin and Michigan in addition to Pennsylvania. He’s also looking to appear in Minnesota and Arizona soon.
But even as he and his running mate Kamala Harris cautiously plot a return to the road — a trip to Wisconsin could come as soon as later this week — some Democrats are expressing frustration that the ticket declined to visit Kenosha in the immediate aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting. Some party members were already irritated that Biden did not give his convention speech in Milwaukee last week.
Democrats fear Trump is diverting attention from his handling of the pandemic and the economy to the violence in Wisconsin and Portland. Biden himself has pointed to remarks by Trump advisers suggesting the violent clashes make for a favorable backdrop for the incumbent.
Biden’s attempt to quell the violence from afar is only boosting Trump in the must-win swing state, some Wisconsin Democrats contended.
I hate to say it, but it looks like it’s going to be an ugly week ahead. Buckle up.