- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2022

Former President Donald Trump appears at so many public rallies that even his fans lose count. But that is, perhaps, his signature tactic to vex his foes in both the Democratic and Republican parties, and the forever hostile news media.

Saturday was no exception. Mr. Trump appeared at yet another bodacious and enthusiastic public rally at regional fairgrounds in Robstown, Texas, — clad in a black suit, his trademark red MAGA hat and no necktie — his entrance heralded by “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood, and a “U-S-A” chant from the enthusiastic crowd.

“This nation belongs to you. This is your home, your heritage — and our American liberty is your God-given right,” Mr. Trump said, urging his audience to vote in the midterm election. “In 2024, we are going to take back our beautiful White House,” he predicted, adding that the “silent majority is back again.”

But will he play a part in that?

“I ran twice. I won twice. I did much better the second time than I did before. In order to make our country successful, safe and glorious again, I will probably have to do it again,” Mr. Trump advised at one point.

“But first we have to win a historic victory for the Republican Party this November,” he said.

“With the help of citizens across this land, we will make America powerful again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again,” he said in his closing remarks.

For the lexicon

“Parallel universe election.”

This handy term comes from Axios rather than “Star Trek.” It points to yet another evolution in the political spectrum, brought on by media coverage, streamlined messaging, branded and lavishly funded campaigns and much more.

The 2024 presidential election will be the first appearance of this new phenomenon.

“America is on the verge of the first truly parallel universe presidential campaign — where the parties speak to distinct groups of voters, in distinct media ecosystems, pushing distinct realities. Why it matters: The days of appearing on the same media channels or even the same debate stage seem over,” wrote Mike Allen, co-founder of Axios.

“Forget traditional debates. Equal time on conventional TV. Or mainstream reporters pushing candidates from both parties. Instead, narrowcasting playbooks that have been road-tested in this year’s midterms will be deployed at scale,” Mr. Allen said.

“The result: The Right talking to the right, the Left talking to the left — and the new silent majority — people who don’t marinate in tweets or cable news — left out like never before,” he noted.

‘Pre-election vacation’

The ever-faithful and meticulous Mark Knoller revealed Saturday that President Biden has now retreated to his home in Delaware for the 56th time since taking office. The former CBS News White House correspondent has long kept count of presidential side trips over the years.

Eagle-eyed Republicans, meanwhile, are also watching. They also have a new phrase to add to the political lexicon: “Pre-election vacation.”

This comes from Republican National Committee spokesperson Emma Vaughn.

“President Joe Biden isn’t waiting until after Election Day to take a vacation because no sane Democrat wants his help campaigning,” she said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.

“From a recession to surging crime to an open border and fentanyl crisis, Americans deserve change. Soon, Democrats will be able to join Biden on his vacation when they are voted out,” she noted.

Ivy-covered halls

University of Pittsburgh students are asking for extra funds to help students “cope with the consequences” of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“This decision will negatively impact the 19,000 students who call our campus home and has already caused far-reaching panic and fear as to the implications this decision may have on anyone with a uterus’s access to reproductive care,” stated a letter from the university’s Student Government Board to the school’s administration.

“We know this decision doesn’t reflect recent polls that show most Americans favor the right to choose, which expands to most students who reside on our campus,” the letter advised.

The students are also demanding that the university provide “free Plan B drugs, which can act as a contraceptive or an abortifacient, according to The College Fix, a student-written news organization that is following the situation.

According to the coverage, the school leaders also want university officials to release “a public statement acknowledging the far-reaching consequences of overturning Roe,” and request “additional peer-support platforms and group therapy sessions to help students process the recent ruling.”

“Students on college campuses deserve better than abortion,” Students for Life Action — a pro-life advocacy group — said in response to the demands.

“They deserve to know their Title IX rights, the dangers of Chemical Abortion pills and abortifacients, free life-affirming resources, and that there are far better options than abortion,” the organization’s press liaison Dana Stancavage told The College Fix.

“Universities should take action to protect free speech so groups such as Students for Life of America can talk with their peers on campus about these important issues,” she said.

Poll du jour

47% of registered U.S. voters say they plan to vote at the polls in the midterm elections on Election Day.

20% will vote early in person.

20% will vote early by mail.

6% have already voted by mail; 3% have voted early in person.

2% don’t plan on voting at all.

2% are not sure of their voting plans.

Source: An NBC News poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 14-18.

Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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