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First Look: President Trump's Campaign For Reelection In 2020

Pro-Trump merchandise adorns the recreation center where leaders of several Republican clubs hold meetings in The Villages, a retirement town in central Florida north of Orlando, on June 12, 2019. (Leila Macor/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-Trump merchandise adorns the recreation center where leaders of several Republican clubs hold meetings in The Villages, a retirement town in central Florida north of Orlando, on June 12, 2019. (Leila Macor/AFP/Getty Images)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

President Trump launches his reelection bid at a rally in Orlando. We look at his campaign strategy to get four more years in the White House.


Kim Alfano, Republican strategist and president and CEO of Alfano Communications. (@ALFANOCOMM)

Whit Ayres, president of North Star Opinion Research, Republican pollster and strategist. (@WhitAyres)

Steve Schale, Democratic strategist. Senior adviser to President Obama’s reelection efforts in Florida in 2012. Directed the Obama/Biden campaign in Florida in 2008. (@steveschale)

From The Reading List

The Guardian: “Can lightning strike twice? Trump set to launch 2020 campaign” — “When Donald Trump launches his presidential re-election campaign this week, he will do it at a rally in the Amway Center – home to sports teams Orlando Magic, Orlando Solar Bears and Orlando Predators – in a part of Florida better known for Cape Canaveral and Walt Disney World.

“It will be four years and two days since the property developer and reality TV star descended an escalator at Trump Tower in New York to launch the longest of long-shot campaigns by raging against unfair trade deals and promising to ‘build a great wall’ on the US-Mexico border.

“He was dismissed. He was scorned. He was laughed at. But he had the last laugh. To the astonishment and consternation of the establishment, Trump went on to offer the ultimate proof that in America, anyone can be president. He beat 16 fellow Republicans, then Democrat Hillary Clinton, to become the first person to reach the Oval Office with no political or military experience.

“Now he has to hope that lightning can strike twice. On Tuesday 18 June, Trump, accompanied by the first lady, Melania Trump, the vice-president, Mike Pence and the second lady, Karen Pence, will hold a Make America Great Again rally in Orlando, Florida, a state that is home to his Mar-a-Lago resort and is usually a pivotal battleground in presidential elections.”

New York Times: “Trump to Kick Off His Re-election Campaign on June 18 in Orlando” — “On June 15, 2015, Donald J. Trump descended an escalator inside his signature Manhattan property, Trump Tower, greeted the cheering supporters paid to attend, and announced an unlikely presidential candidacy.

“A little more than four years later, on June 18, President Trump will officially begin his re-election campaign inside a 20,000-person arena in Orlando, Fla., a kickoff that will be greeted this time with an understanding across the ideological spectrum of his political skills.

“‘I will be announcing my Second Term Presidential Run with First Lady Melania, Vice President Mike Pence, and Second Lady Karen Pence on June 18th in Orlando, Florida, at the 20,000 seat Amway Center,’ the president announced on Twitter on Friday. ‘Join us for this Historic Rally!’

“Mr. Trump’s incendiary announcement speech four years ago, in which he accused Mexicans of being rapists and bringing crime and drugs into the United States, was a harbinger of the campaign and the presidency that were to come. Throwing away the remarks prepared for him by his small crew of advisers, Mr. Trump ad-libbed in the discursive style that has become his trademark.”

Politico: “Trump campaign makes a radical break from 2016” — “President Donald Trump is sitting on a war chest topping $40 million, has boots on the ground spread across nine regions crucial to his 2020 map and owns a sprawling network of volunteers who’ve been rigorously trained for the months ahead.

“When he takes the stage Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., to announce his bid for reelection, Trump will be joined by 20,000 guests whose personal information — names, zip codes, phone numbers — was meticulously recorded when they requested tickets to the rally. First-time attendees will receive relentless emails and texts in the coming weeks, reminding them they can help ‘Keep America Great’ by contributing $5, $10 or $15. Some maxed-out donors who gave generously to his 2016 campaign will trek to Florida to witness what they delivered — and decide whether to give big again.

“It’s a straightforward strategy to get the president four more years in the White House: be the political juggernaut Trump lacked in 2016.

“While 23 Democratic presidential candidates scramble for attention, Trump’s 2020 campaign is quietly flipping the script from its ham-fisted approach the first time he sought elected office. His team has spent two and a half years building a robust, modern and professional operation to optimize as many variables as possible and amassing an unprecedented pile of cash to keep it all afloat.

“It’s worked so far. The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee had a combined $82 million in the bank as of April — the result of a joint fundraising operation — and staffers have yet to devolve into the bitter infighting that strained the president’s first campaign and stained his earliest days in the White House.”

Brian Hardzinski and Grace Tatter produced this hour for broadcast.

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