It was called a campaign event, and when asked on Air Force One if it was early to start a campaign, Trump said: “Life is a campaign. Making our country great again is a campaign.”
Trump is not the first president to start campaigning early. The permanent campaign as a term was first used in the Carter administration and certainly Reagan, Clinton and Obama made considerable use of the White House and presidential resources to prepare for re-election and try to build legislative support. But to announce it after only four weeks, partially as a reboot and an escape from the “swamp” of Washington, is unusual.
Numerous reasons were offered as to why to start campaigning four weeks into the start of an administration:
- He needed to recharge while escaping the troubles of D.C.
- He wants to maintain and charge up his base
- He wants to remind his party he’s the boss
- He can control crowd access by calling it a campaign event (keep out protesters)
- He wants to continue to get his message out around the media while attacking them (They have replaced Clinton)
Read Politico: Four weeks into his presidency, Trump returns to campaign mode