WASHINGTON. Optics, it’s said, is a very important aspect of politics. Visuals can illustrate the positive, upward surge in public support or the utter hopelessness of a cause. And no one knows this better than attorney Clark Brewster. He is part of a group of lawyers who recently filed a lawsuit “on behalf of a series of community groups and two specific individuals the attorneys describe as particularly vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19,” CNN reported.
Rally ’round the president
The litigants asked the court to place a temporary injunction preventing President Donald Trump’s campaign from holding a rally scheduled for Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. But the Oklahoma Supreme Court said, “it is not the duty of this Court to fashion rules or regulations where none exist.”
And the court also had a few choice words for the “two specific individuals” on whose behalf the suit was filed. You know, the pair of dainties “particularly vulnerable to the spread” of Chinese flu.
“[The] petitioners cannot establish the necessary elements for a writ of mandamus, specifically that petitioners possess a clear legal right to the relief they seek.”
That’s legalese for, “You don’t live in Tulsa. Therefore, you have no standing before the court.” The dainties are, no doubt, triggered by Trump-deranged activists.
But attorney Clark Brewster should be used to such legal disappointments. He, along with the indicted Michael Avenatti, represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her losing lawsuit to revoke her binding, non-disclosure agreement with President Trump. (Michael Avenatti, former lawyer for Stormy Daniels, arrested in California)
The power of political enthusiasm and crowds
As stated earlier, optics are key in politics. And the visuals provided by boisterous Trump rallies of the past are remarkable for their size and the enthusiasm of the crowds. Back in January, an estimated 175,000 people waited in long lines to see the president in Wildwood, blue-state New Jersey.
Lonely Joe Biden on the election campaign
Recent news reports say people are camping out a day before Trump’s scheduled Tulsa rally. Showing their determination to get a good seat inside. Nonetheless, it’s likely to be a standing-room-only event.
Juxtapose this to recent rallies staged by the Joe Biden campaign. The optics are very bad, to say the least.
Take Biden’s recent rally in Philadelphia. According to New York Times political correspondent Lisa Lerer:
“There was no soundtrack of carefully selected, inoffensive pop music blasting in the background. No reporters fighting over power outlets and positioning. No rope line for the candidate to walk, shaking hands and snapping selfies.
“Oh, and hardly any voters.”
Lerer added that…
“… about 20 handpicked local officials, small-business owners and reporters sat in folding chairs, each placed within a large white circle taped on the floor of a recreation center to maintain — or at least encourage — social distancing.”
A picture of the event made its way around Twitter, providing a source of hardy laughter for the president and his supporters. “ZERO enthusiasm!” noted Trump in a tweet.
Joe Biden’s rally. ZERO enthusiasm! pic.twitter.com/IB2BrrmTPH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
The Times’ put a slightly positive spin on another Biden get-together in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.
“With mandated social distancing measures entering their fourth month in many states, Mr. Biden has held few events and therefore committed few missteps. He conducts television interviews and has slowly started to hold public events. But Mr. Biden’s aides said they had no plans to stage the sort of rallies Mr. Trump will begin holding again Saturday — and which the president’s campaign had been counting on as the most reliable source of Biden gaffes.”
Sleepy Joe Biden held a rally on Pennsylvania yesterday! 😆 pic.twitter.com/Afg2GEN0lX
— David Croom – (ツ) (@dailycallout) June 18, 2020
A hot mic captured former Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe telling fellow Democrats that getting Biden out of his basement and back on the campaign trail was bad optics.
“People say all the time, ‘Oh, we got to get the vice president out of the basement.’ He’s fine in the basement. Two people see him a day… That’s it… And that’s what we’re preferring that he actually do.”
The basement candidate
That strategy will certainly help where the vice president’s gaffs are concerned. But a presidential candidate hiding in his basement as a means to conceal his deteriorating mental state is, to state the obvious, bad optics.
And more recent photos of Biden show him wearing a hospital mask as if to emphasize the point he is among those vulnerable to the vagaries of the Chinese plague.
Fake-news polls and bad optics
Some polls say Sleepy Joe leads Trump by 13 points. But we should remember these polls are conducted by the same people who in 2016 assured the folks in the fly-over country (“deplorables”) they’d have to grin-and-bear their way through a Hillary Clinton presidency.
But the size of Trump’s 2016 rallies proved much larger than those of the shrill banshee from Chappaqua. In other words, the optics proved reliably predictive of the 2016 election outcome.
The upcoming post-pandemic Trump rallies will prove optically challenging for Democrats and the media as voters continue to engage in social distancing where the listless Joe Biden’s counter-rallies are a concern.
So, prepare for fake-news stories telling you to ignore “Sleepy” Joe Biden’s bad optics and your lying eyes.
Top Image: Former Vice President Joe Biden