Donald Trump and Joe Biden Utilize Cable News for Campaign Strategies

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Whoever resides in the White House after January 20, 2025, will likely call upon their favored ideologically-aligned cable news hosts. Monday’s cable news lineup revealed that both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, no longer in their campaign prime, are eager to use this Phone-a-Friend strategy.

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Biden’s Call to MSNBC
The day started with Biden contacting MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and ended with Trump talking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Both candidates stayed off-camera, and while their networks fed them soft questions, Hannity’s interview came off worse. During Nixon’s debate with Kennedy, Kennedy used his photogenic advantage over Nixon to highlight his youth. Now, both Trump and Biden seem to avoid the camera, especially after Trump solidified his frontrunner status in the June 27 CNN debate.

On Fox, Trump struggled to critique Biden’s debate performance, merely noting that Biden looked “extremely pale,” speculating about his makeup. Trump seemed to win the debate by default, simply by being more articulate. Since the debate, Trump has avoided the spotlight, and this was his first interview since. His tendency to sidetrack was evident when he veered off-topic to praise CNN’s headquarters during Hannity’s straightforward question about the debate.

Biden’s MSNBC Appearance
Biden’s interview on MSNBC was on safer ground compared to his July 5 interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. On “Morning Joe,” Biden vented frustration not only at Trump but also at his own party, criticizing the party elites. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, usually supportive of Biden, were somewhat overwhelmed by his indignant tone and relentless tirade. Biden read his answers from a list, and when Brzezinski pressed him on a neurological workup post-debate, his response was long-winded and confusing.

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Trump’s Comfort Zone
Trump’s call to Hannity was nothing new. In 2016, Trump often called into “Fox & Friends,” creating a reality for his supporters through audio-only appearances. This strategy built a cult-like following, with Trump presenting himself as the sole candidate who could win.

Biden’s Strategy
Biden’s team seems to mimic this approach, which contrasts sharply with the Democratic narrative of being above Trump’s tactics. Biden’s appearance on MSNBC, railing against elites and questioning the reliability of polls and news organizations, echoed Trump’s style. However, Biden’s long tenure in politics makes it hard for him to position himself as an outsider.

Campaign Challenges
The pressure within the Democratic Party for Biden to drop out will likely intensify. Unlike Donald Trump, who successfully ran as an outsider, Biden cannot convincingly run against an establishment he represents. Biden’s reliance on sympathetic media outlets like MSNBC might not be enough to convey his message effectively.

In conclusion, while Trump coasts comfortably on Fox News, Biden’s appearance on “Morning Joe” highlights the challenges he faces in his campaign. As both candidates navigate their media strategies, the upcoming election will test their ability to connect with voters and convey their messages.

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