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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

From socially distanced conversations to slander: How Biden and Trump are campaigning online

The tried and tested on-ground approach — where army of volunteers go from door to door, hard selling their presidential candidate by extolling their many virtues — has taken a back seat, as the country continues to witness a massive surge in coronavirus cases.

Written by Rahel Philipose | Goa | Updated: August 16, 2020 8:09:18 pm
Donald trump, Joe Biden, US elections 2020, US presidential elections, Trump-Biden news, world newsWhile the Republican campaign is still sending out mask-clad volunteers to interact with voters in person, the Democrats have accused them of endangering lives and have instead opted for a more cautious approach.

With the US Presidential election campaign heating up, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have aggressively ramped up their efforts to reach out to as many prospective voters as they can before polling on November 3. But with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in the United States, both camps have been forced to get creative with their campaign strategies.

The tried and tested on-ground approach — where army of volunteers go from door to door, hard selling their presidential candidate by extolling their many virtues — has taken a back seat, as the country continues to witness a massive surge in coronavirus cases.

While the Republican campaign is still sending out mask-clad volunteers to interact with voters in person, the Democrats have accused them of endangering lives and have instead opted for a more cautious approach. Both sides have, however, stepped up their efforts in the digital space by releasing a number of ads — some funny, others combative — to reach out to their voters online.

Here is a look at some of the ads both campaigns have released in recent months

Former President Barack Obama and Biden have a socially distanced conversation

In a campaign ad released late last month, former US President Barack Obama reunited with his ex-running mate Joe Biden for a ‘socially distanced conversation’ about their time in office and Biden’s plans for the future. In the 15-minute video, the duo also discussed the coronavirus pandemic and the racial strife that followed the custodial killing of African American George Floyd in May.

Over the last few weeks, Biden’s campaign team has been releasing snippets from their conversation, where they call up ordinary citizens and frontline workers to discuss issues like public health and safety in schools.

‘Joe sits in his basement. Alone, Hiding,’ claims Trump ad

The Trump campaign courted controversy earlier this month when it released a 30-second ad, which featured doctored pictures of former Vice President Biden. “Deep in the heart of Delaware, Joe Biden sits in his basement. Alone. Hiding. Diminished,” a narrator begins.

According to a report by the Washington Post, at least three photographs were manipulated to make Biden look ‘defeated’ and ‘old’. In one image, Biden appears to be sitting alone on the floor of an empty room. The original photograph was clicked during an official event and featured over 10 other people, Washington Post reported.

Explained: How Donald Trump and Joe Biden sharply differ on immigration

In another picture, Biden appears frustrated, holding his hand to his forehead. Trump’s ad-makers allegedly edited out a microphone that Biden was carrying while addressing a large group of people in Cedar Rapids, last year.

‘How to fail like Donald Trump in 3 easy steps’

A campaign ad shared by Joe Biden Saturday, highlights the US President’s controversial financial records. According to the video, the three steps to fail like Donald Trump are — ‘inherit’, ‘squander it’, and ‘take no responsibility’.

The ad opens with a clip from one of Trump’s most infamous interviews, where he first declared that his father had given him a “small loan of a million dollars”. It also includes news clips from when a number of casinos, once run by Trump, filed for bankruptcy.

Trump ad suggests what will happen in case of break down of law and order

A campaign ad released last month shows a simulated scenario, in which an older white woman calls the emergency helpline, 911, after someone attempts to break into her house, only to hear an automated message: “You have reached 911. I’m sorry that there is no one here to answer your emergency call. Leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.”

The advertisement attacks democrats for allegedly contributing towards “defunding the police”, which Republicans claim, has led to a breakdown of law and order in the country.

‘Oh My God,’ Kamala says when Biden asks her to be his running mate

A video shared soon after Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, captures the moment that the former vice president first broke the news to Harris. “Oh my God,” she is heard saying. “I am so ready to go to work.”

A longer version of the video was shared later, in which Biden’s wife Jill and Harris’ husband Douglas joined the phone conversation. “We’re ready to put it all on the line for you,” Doug says in the video.

‘Kamala’s a phoney, Biden’s not that smart’

An ad released by the Trump campaign right after Kamala Harris was named Biden’s running mate, claims that while voters rejected Harris for being a “phoney”, Biden was not “smart” enough to do the same.

“Biden calls himself a transition candidate. He is handing over the reins to Kamala while they jointly embrace the radical left,” the narrator states in the video.

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