Sat. May 18th, 2024

Biden’s general election strategy: Less is more

By 37ci3 May4,2024

WASHINGTON — As President Joe Biden ramps up his re-election bid, his campaign is scaling back what it says on the trail, part of a larger new strategy to refine the sharper message it will take in the general election. Biden aides.

The “less is more” approach aims for quality over quantity when it comes to the president’s public speeches, aides said.

“There’s a strategic advantage at this point to getting your message across to the three or four most compelling, persuasive arguments for why President Biden should be re-elected,” said TJ Ducklo, senior communications adviser to the Biden campaign. “It will often turn into stumps [speech] reduced to its sharpest, most dynamic form. This is what you see.”

This approach also has the appearance of a strategy aimed at minimizing the potential for Biden to make a razor-thin election mistake. Some of Biden’s verbal missteps occurred when he rambled on, deviated from prepared text or answered a reporter’s question when it wasn’t part of the plan.

Biden’s shorter, sharper remarks are part of his campaign’s broader strategy of appearing in smaller venues, which the president’s aides believe serve him better with voters than traditional large, traditional rallies.

Some of Biden’s advisers have pushed him to go further in efforts to sharpen his public speaking. They advocated for the president to completely replace prepared campaign remarks in favor of less scripted retail stops and digital content in which he speaks directly to the camera.

That dramatic shift hasn’t happened, but aides say the idea has been discussed as the campaign tries to find ways to reach a fickle electorate that consumes information differently than in previous eras. The idea’s debate also reflects how difficult it is to get and keep voters’ attention, aides said.

The president has briefly made notable efforts in recent weeks, both at official and campaign events. Biden’s remarks last week during campus protests over the war in the Gaza Strip lasted just four minutes. His high-profile speech on abortion rights in Florida last week lasted just 14 minutes. And his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner lasted just 10 minutes — half as long as the previous year.

Still, the effort appears to be a work in progress. At an infrastructure event in North Carolina on Thursday, Biden spoke for more than 20 minutes, often deviating from the script on the teleprompter to add some political flourishes.

Current and former Biden officials have long noted that the president sees value in longer speeches, citing his interest in engaging with the American public on policy issues. And aides said that in the coming weeks, Biden will deliver longer, on-topic speeches aimed at contrasting his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, at strategic points. He recently gave a nearly half-hour economic policy speech in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Biden campaign has yet to establish a speechwriting team, and most of the president’s public appearances have been formal. One of Biden’s closest advisers, Mike Donilon, who moved from a West Wing role to the campaign earlier this year, has been traveling with Biden regularly as events have turned increasingly political.

Biden aides said they hope to refine a more concise stump speech for the president to use as the pace and intensity of the campaign builds later this summer.

“We’re progressing the way the campaign should,” said one campaign official.

The timing of the president’s toned down remarks follows how his campaign fared four years ago, though Biden’s 2020 campaign events have been sparse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden’s speeches have shrunk to an average of about 15 minutes as he builds momentum toward a meeting with Trump in 2020. At one of his larger events before the Covid lockdown, where thousands gathered under the St. Louis Gateway Arch, Biden spoke for just seven. minutes.

A former campaign official said the campaign — and Biden himself — felt the abbreviated stump speech resonated with voters and no longer was needed. The former official said the brevity of it “also benefited him from being comfortable with the delivery and then coming out better”.

However, the official added that a shorter stump speech does not guarantee that Biden will avoid mistakes, and sometimes shorter prepared comments only invite the president to deviate from the written text.

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By 37ci3

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