Former Vice President Joe Biden “called a lid” on campaigning for the next four days, up until the next presidential debate, The New York Post reports.
“Calling a lid” is when candidates announce they are not participating in any live events or answering questions from reporters for the rest of the day. Biden’s announcement means he will not be attending live campaign events from today, October 19, through Thursday, October 22. He may participate in some virtual events from his home.
The Post said, “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is back at his Wilmington, Del., home and will not return to the campaign trail until after his face-off with President Trump at Thursday night’s debate.”
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is scheduled to make appearances at “Make America Great Again” rallies today in Prescott and Tucson Ariz.; Tuesday in Erie, Pa.; and Wednesday in Gastonia, North Carolina.
With just 14 days until the election on November 3, Biden’s four days without live appearances highlight the contrast between the two campaigns, with the President crisscrossing the country for campaign events and the former Vice President attending fewer and smaller events.
Biden’s total number of “lid days” is something that some media and social media outlets have been commenting on for the past two months. Towards the end of September, calendars started appearing with at least 11 days of the month marked off where Biden had done no campaigning.
Politifact, however, fact-checked the Trump campaign claims that Biden was “hiding in the basement,” calling it “false.” The evaluation says, “We counted at least 14 different events outside Biden’s Delaware home in September, in six different states.”
The fact check also points out that COVID-19 disrupted Trump’s campaigning as well, saying “Trump also suspended in-person campaigning from March 2 through June 20, when he held an indoor rally in Tulsa, Okla.” It’s unclear why Politifact was comparing Trump’s actions, early in the pandemic, with Biden’s September campaign activity.
The New York Post reports that Biden, on the other hand, “did not begin in-person campaigning again until Labor Day, with each appearance being limited to a few dozen attendees kept at a distance for safety purposes.”
On September 25, The Associated Press analyzed Biden’s August and September schedules and reported, “Biden’s low-key campaign style worries some Democrats.”
“Since his Aug. 11 selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has had 22 days where he either didn’t make public appearances, held only virtual fundraisers or ventured from his Delaware home solely for church,” AP stated, adding, “He made 12 visits outside of Delaware during that period.”
The report compared this with Donald Trump’s schedule, “During the same time, President Donald Trump had 24 trips that took him to 17 different states, not counting a personal visit to New York to see his ailing brother in the hospital or weekend golf outings. He was hitting Florida, Georgia, Virginia and the nation’s capital on Friday alone.”
The phrase is a reference to four previous presidential campaigns, three in the late 1800s and the last one with Warren G. Harding in 1920, where the presidential candidate remained at home, making few appearances.
In May, The Washington Post ran a story about Biden’s makeshift studio in his home’s basement. The paper said that the comparison between Harding and Biden was not a good one, as Harding’s goal was to stay off the campaign trail and “‘to restore the dignity of the office’ of president by avoiding the ‘barnstorming, water tank speech and [railroad-car] tail end platform business.’”
Unlike Harding, the paper said, both Biden and Trump were “itching to get out on the campaign trail with rallies and speeches.”
The two candidates have substantive differences on many issues – as The Daily Citizen’s Presidential Voter Guide clearly shows. Their campaigning couldn’t be more different, as well. We’ll know soon enough which appeals more to voters.
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