Trump To Travel US In Major Troll Of Democratic Convention Ahead Of Presidential Election
WASHINGTON (AFP) - This week the eyes of US voters turn to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democratic convention - unless they swivel first to Republican distracter-in-chief Donald Trump.
For the Democrats, the convention is the real 2020 campaign launch, culminating on Thursday (Aug 20) when Biden accepts the nomination to confront Trump on November 3.
The incumbent president, however, loves nothing more than stealing the show.
So when the Democratic celebration - already low key due to coronavirus precautions - kicks off Monday, Trump will begin his own campaign tour with speeches in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
On Tuesday, Trump will be back on Air Force One to speak in Arizona.
And on Thursday, the biggest moment in Biden's political life, Trump is turning the troll factor to maximum with a speech next to Scranton, Pennsylvania - the blue collar town where Biden grew up and which he still refers to as his spiritual home.
According to the Trump campaign, the theme of this week's tour will be, simply enough, "highlighting Joe Biden's record of failure."
WILL IT WORK?
Trump feels at his best in front of a live audience.
While he has also cancelled his big Republican convention due to coronavirus restrictions, he still plans to give his main speech in front of guests in just under two weeks at the White House.
But hitting the road carries considerable risks.
Trump's last attempt to stage one of his beloved rallies, an event in Oklahoma in June, was a flop when few supporters showed up.
And this week he'll be competing with the Democrats' top stars, all of them nearly desperate to make him a one-term president.
That includes Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders on Monday, then Barack Obama and Biden's newly minted vice presidential pick, Harris, on Wednesday.
But Trump might just end up giving his opponents a boost.
"The biggest problem for President Trump right now is the more he speaks, the worse he does," Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University politics professor, said on CNN.
"I am not sure having more of President Trump out there in the next few days will necessarily hurt Democrats. It might be exactly what they need."
A veteran of reality TV and something of a genius at self-promotion, Trump entered politics with a knack for identifying opponents' weak spots and turning them into central campaign themes.