July 15, 2020

Is it wrong for President Trump to use the White House Rose Garden to deliver what turned into a campaign speech?

Yesterday's speech was similar to his long, extemporaneous rally speeches — except it didn't have the exuberant energy and humor. I wrote about it in the previous post — reacting to Charlie Sykes's trashing of the event — and at one point I said, "The main objection is that he's in the Rose Garden setting, and he's making the case against his political opponent." After publishing, I had the question I've put in the post title.

There is something called the Rose Garden strategy. From the Political Dictionary:
A Rose Garden campaign is when an incumbent president takes advantage of the power and prestige of his office to help him run for re-election. The phrase originally referred to a president staying on the grounds of the White House to campaign as opposed to traveling throughout the country....

The term “Rose Garden campaign” was first used by then-candidate Jimmy Carter in 1976. At the time, Carter was challenging the incumbent president Gerald Ford. Carter complained that Ford was using a “Rose Garden strategy” to get himself free publicity, staying in the public eye by signing bills and making pronouncements....
That implies doing presidential work in a way that implicitly makes the case for reelection, not using the Rose Garden as a platform for campaign speeches.
On a metaphorical level, a Rose Garden strategy refers to any time the incumbent president distributes political favors or largesse as part of his re-election strategy. This can mean offering economic packages to certain key states....
Obviously, that's a worse problem than choosing your backyard as the location for overtly political speeches!

The Political Dictionary cites a NYT article from May 2019, "Why Trump Can't Get Enough of the Rose Garden":
Since he entered office, Mr. Trump has favored backdrops that portray strength. He pushed for a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue that was ultimately scratched. More recently, he has explored putting himself at the center of the nationally televised fireworks display on July 4, and addressing the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.... But the Rose Garden is one of the few outdoor venues he controls unilaterally.

“He’s an indoor creature, but he wants to be seen outdoors,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian. “He likes the Oval Office because he could do the big signature and show power. But after a while, it becomes an image of a guy who is locked in a room. This is a deeply image-driven president. In the Rose Garden, he’s able to project that he’s outside and enjoying the compound.”

Former aides said Mr. Trump loved how his complexion looked in the Rose Garden’s natural light, as well as its proximity to the Oval Office and that it felt like a “tourist destination” he could show off while hosting an event.
His complexion, indeed. The NYT article does go on to say that President Obama liked to stage events in the Rose Garden, but unsurprisingly fails to inform us on his feelings about the look of his complexion.  And isn't it nice to see Douglas Brinkley again? We were just talking about him — "a minor American academic and sometime critic whose powers of observation and generosity of spirit would fit comfortably into a proton and still leave room for an echo."

Anyway, I wouldn't call Trump's campaign speech in the Rose Garden an example of a "Rose Garden strategy," though some of the things Trump is doing are in that category, whether they're specifically in the Rose Garden or not. Giving a campaign speech in the Rose Garden fits better under the heading "Front Porch Campaign." It's just campaigning without traveling, campaigning from home:
A front porch campaign is a low-key electoral campaign used in American politics in which the candidate remains close to or at home to make speeches to supporters who come to visit.... The successful presidential campaigns of James A. Garfield in 1880, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and William McKinley in 1896 are perhaps the best-known front porch campaigns.

McKinley's opposing candidate, William Jennings Bryan, gave over 600 speeches and traveled many miles all over the United States to campaign, but... William McKinley spoke to more than 700,000 supporters in front of his house in Canton....
McKinley was not an incumbent, living in the White House, so his porch wasn't the Rose Garden. More significantly, McKinley wasn't addressing a captive audience of journalists. He had his supporters there on the grounds. But those were different days. You can't be entertaining crowds at your house. It's not just coronavirus, it's security. And McKinley, for his part, got elected and then got assassinated:
On September 5, [1901] the President delivered his address at the fairgrounds, before a crowd of some 50,000 people.... One man in the crowd, Leon Czolgosz, hoped to assassinate McKinley. He had managed to get close to the presidential podium, but did not fire, uncertain of hitting his target. Czolgosz, after hearing a speech by anarchist Emma Goldman in Cleveland, had decided to do something he believed would advance the cause. After his failure to get close enough on September 5, Czolgosz waited the next day at the Temple of Music on the Exposition grounds, where the President was to meet the public. Czolgosz concealed his gun in a handkerchief, and, when he reached the head of the line, shot McKinley twice in the abdomen. McKinley urged his aides to break the news gently to [his wife] Ida, and to call off the mob that had set on Czolgosz....
We're much more protective of our Presidents these days. There's no reason to pressure him to travel about and experience the crowds. The man lives in the White House. The Rose Garden is his garden. Let him give a campaign speech in his garden if he likes. The crowd is grim-faced and surly. It's not ideal, but I'm going to withdraw my opinion — in my last post — that there's something objectionable about doing a campaign speech in the Rose Garden.

66 comments:

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

We never promised Joe a rose garden.

Joe Smith said...

All is fair. The cable news outlets wouldn't cover it otherwise. Just part of the built-in incumbent advantage.

Acosta is complaining about it on Twitter. The same man who put on kneepads every time he questioned Obama. Credible source.

rehajm said...

It's home field advantage. There's nothing wrong with it. It is who the candidate is, and what he does.

Rose Garden, Air Force One, an aircraft carrier...go ahead...

tcrosse said...

Trumpian strategy declaration

Big Mike said...

The phrase originally referred to a president staying on the grounds of the White House to campaign as opposed to traveling throughout the country ...

Trump does both. Biden is in no position to do either. It has been a full century since the last successful front porch campaign, and Biden’s “Joe’s basement” permutation on the front porch campaign is unlikely to break that streak.

wendybar said...

Why not?? Obama used the Rose Garden to usher back traitor Bowe Bergdahl and his parents and tell us how he released 5 Taliban traitors to get this one back. Bergdahls father then prayed to Allah there. So spare me the hysteric over Trump loving America and it's people.

Readering said...

Now post about second circuit libel opinion on Joy Reid. I think it should go to the Supreme Court on the anti-SLAPP state law procedure being inapplicable in federal court.

Skeptical Voter said...

To haul out a memory from Truman days, "Give 'em hell Donnie!" You may fire from wherever you are. And Biden's been in the Rose Garden before when he was a potted plant standing next to Saint Obama, the New Lightworker.

sparrow said...

Honestly what president didn't use the White House as a prop during the re-election campaign? This is just another example of double standards devised just for Trump.

Brian said...

Once again, anything, and I do mean anything, that Trump does, gets condensed to the narrative of "How Dare He!".

This makes sense to his opponents, because he wasn't supposed to win. Every time he uses an advantage of the office, it highlights that he's not supposed to be there.

traditionalguy said...

The Dumb-as-rocks-crats are still pretending Trump is an illegitimate Russian Agent. And everyone laughs.

It’s his Rose Garden and he’ll campaign in it if he wants to.

n.n said...

Roses and a reduced [environmental] footprint. The question is not why, but why not.

Nonapod said...

I think the problem with attempting to categorize something that an incumbent does as unfair is that there's no clear place to draw the line. Everyone knows that an incumbent president has certain clear advantages going up against a non incument candidate. They have actual power, the presidential aura, whenever they speak they have the entire force of the office behind them. During the campaign, virtually everything an incumbent president says and does can be interpreted as benefitting his or her campaign goals, including all the more official presidential duties.

Then again, being an incumbent president not always beneficial. An incumbent has an actual record as president, good or bad. Whereas generally (unless we're talking about Grover Cleveland) a non incumbent doesn't have a presidential record to be criticized or praised. I mean, Biden was a vice-President and a 47 year long DC political history, so we all have pretty good information to infer what he may be like. But with Trump we have a pretty good idea of what he's like as president.

I'm Not Sure said...

Doesn't Trump live at the White House? Biden's campaigning from his basement. Is that wrong?

Gusty Winds said...

If he simply employs the strategy to make Acosta cry I’m fine with it.

stevew said...

Of course not. It's the advantage that accrues to the incumbent.

deepelemblues said...

Just another way to declare that the current most important dissenter from left orthodoxy should not be able to voice his opinion. It's authoritarianism shading into totalitarianism.

Sally327 said...

I find it odd that the question would even occur to someone.

I know there are laws about campaigning within so many feet of polling places on election day but other than that, I can't think of any other legal impediments to where a candidate can hold campaign events, I mean other than the normal time, place and manner requirements as to permits for rallys, etc., in public spaces, which I guess arguably that's what the White House is but it's also the President's residence so I think also arguable it's not a public space.

So Trump should have gotten a permit?

Gahrie said...

If Trump wasn't giving speeches in the Rose Garden, but was making campaign appearances instead, the media would savage him for that.

For Trump, and increasingly so for us on the Right, it is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Psota said...

These complaints are such pathetic whinging

Trump can't hold rallies, but he also can't use the sacred Rose Garden like every other president did when it was his turn to run for re-election.

Every conceivable Trump advantage is unfair

Gahrie said...

Now post about second circuit libel opinion on Joy Reid. I think it should go to the Supreme Court on the anti-SLAPP state law procedure being inapplicable in federal court.

Mann V Steyn will get there first.

Howard said...

I pray for more. These type of presentations bring out the real unfiltered Trump. It's a feature, not a big. It a Win-Win. You people get orgasmic and Sarah Cooper gets a boatload of raw material.

MAJMike said...

No. Next question.

rcocean said...

Frankly, who cares? The Press and the Demcorats violate every long-standing norm and tradition constantly. They hate Trump and want him out, and will do anything to achieve their objective.

So, now I'm supposed to be upset because the Press had to listen to a campaign speech in the rose garden? The "Sacred" rose garden? LOL. I'll just put this down as the Press bitching and moaning about Trump - attack No. 1346.

Unknown said...

I'm sure a young NYTImes journalist got kudos for making up this 40001st trump bash.

zipity said...


If it was Obama in 2012 making a similar appearance in the Rose Garden before his last election, the Lame Stream Media© would all have their knee-pads on and be lining up to service the Obamessiah.

wendybar said...

Remember when Obama gave out white Doctor jackets and had "Doctors" in the audience to brag about his Obamacare, or when he said to Trump from the Rose Garden "Stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes!" Don't forget...the media hibernated through 2007-2016.

Drago said...

Its nice to see Howard has abandoned his Lafayette OMG-Chemical Warfare(!) lies as well as the moronic Trump is Hiding in The Bunker(!) BS.

Neither hoax narrative was destined to get very far.

I've also noticed Howard has dialed back his OMG-They-are-like-Normandy-Heroes! praise of the marxist rioters since those rioters have become quite comfortable with murdering kids, shooting drivers of cars, killing unarmed women at night and ambush murdering police officers.

The media finally took the hint that it didn't look good for Team Dem/LLR-lefty and dropped their wall to wall coverage and praise of the maoist mob and Howard finally caught on.

Drago said...

wendybar: "Remember when Obama gave out white Doctor jackets and had "Doctors" in the audience to brag about his Obamacare, or when he said to Trump from the Rose Garden "Stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes!" Don't forget...the media hibernated through 2007-2016."

There's a great shot of Clinton at the height of his campaign for reelection "inviting" a bunch of active duty military personnel in uniform over to the White House and then having those troops walk behind him as he came over a rise making it look like Clinton was, in a Soviet way, "leading" those troops.

It was a nice campaign shot.

Number of complaints by the lefties/media? Zero

As you would expect, quite the opposite really.

And who can forget the "press conference" where obama had the traitor Bowe Bergdahl's parents show up in the Rose Garden in order to praise Bowe Bergdahl as the epitome of what an American soldier was supposed to be?

Quick note: Bergdahl was a deserter who worked with the Taliban to help kill US troops in Afghanistan.....and obambi knew all of that as he stood up in front of the cameras.

5 US soldiers were killed by the Taliban on search missions for the traitor Bergdahl...and obama called Bergdahl a literal "hero".

Howard said...

Trump and Drago do CCP's bidding by exacerbating the spread of the engineered Wuhan virus. All for Ivankas patents and licenses granted by Xi Jingping Cha Ching.

rcocean said...

I see you have a Douglas Brinkly tag. You can see how the Left no longer cares about American history by the fact that we no longer have those boring Liberal historians like Doris Kearns Goodwin or Micheal Beachloss showing up all the time. They and Brinkley are getting quoted less and less. The New Left, just doesn't care.

rehajm said...

We never promised Joe a rose garden.

Beg your pardon?

MayBee said...

I would rather have Trump making campaign-like speeches from the Rose Garden than using his Intel apparatus to pretend Al Qaeada is gone and ISIS is the JV team to advance his re-election chances.

Or using the Oval Office to talk about NatSec advisors for the other side violating the Logan Act.

madAsHell said...

Biden is running a Then-You're-Not-Black campaign.

BoatSchool said...

They never promised me a rose garden but they didn’t tell me it would be a cesspool.

Sebastian said...

So Trump is wrong to campaign in arenas cuz WuFlu, and he's wrong to campaign from the WH cuz it's the WH, which leaves --?

Gk1 said...

Another troubling sign for democrats that even the press knows it's all over for Slow Joe. "How can we keep covering Trump in the Rose Garden if he's going to keep taking a flop on Biden and then make us watch?!?" They can't square the circle that they can't keep Trump from beating Joe like a drum until he quits or goes down in November. This is their future.

wildswan said...

The media lets me know whenever Trump makes a speech discussing the latest issues. The greater the hysteria from them, the better and more important the speech. I regard these speeches as Presidential briefings to citizens and they are needed. Although the Times is now edited by Twitter, there are still issues - Rise of China, Who runs WHO?, Open the schools - and Trump is still discussing the issues. Even though he is going on about issues, it is still more interesting than - I won't say more interesting than Hidin' Joe Biden who can barely follow a teleprompter - but it's more interesting than all the other politicians. Meanwhile, the left has exposed its presence and its agenda in the chaos of the big Dem cities. Evidently their program is "The Great North Korean Way." They promise us all beatings and poverty, with an especial concentration on shooting minorities and burning their businesses, and if elected, what they promise they will perform.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Is it wrong for Trump to______________________________ ?

why YES! Impeach! Leftwing corruptocrats must be in charge.

SteveM said...

And the old phrase “Rose Garden strategy” means what? All Presidents have used the Rose Garden in furtherance of their re-election campaigns. Nothing new there, but that Trump is doing too!

tim maguire said...

Is that the New scam? Biden can campaign from home but Trump can’t?

Nichevo said...


Howard said...
I pray for more.


Yeah, you strike me as a praying man all right. Snorfle! Keep talking like that and no blowies from Emerita.

Temujin said...

"Is it wrong for President Trump to use the White House Rose Garden to deliver what turned into a campaign speech?"

No. Next question.

Greg the class traitor said...

Readering said...
Now post about second circuit libel opinion on Joy Reid. I think it should go to the Supreme Court on the anti-SLAPP state law procedure being inapplicable in federal court.

1: One of the coo things about Blogger, Readering, is that anyone can have a blog here, and do their own posts. If you want a post on that decision, write it yourself

2: If the Supreme Court were to take the case, the first thing they should consider is the garbage "actual malice" defense, which allows the Left to lie about the rest of us on a regular basis, and the second thing they should take up is the "limited public figure" BS.

3: On applying SLAPP to federal Court, whether or not it's a good idea, the Supreme Court isn't going to support it:
The idea that the more stringent requirement of the anti-SLAPP standard is a beneficial “supplement” to the Federal Rules is a policy argument--and fatal, because the more permissive standards of the Federal Rules likewise reflect policy judgments as to what is sufficient. See Shady Grove, 559 U.S. at 401 (explaining that because “Rule 23 permits all class actions that meet its requirements, . . . a State cannot limit that permission by . . . impos[ing] additional requirements”).

4: I hope Joy Reid gets taken to the cleaners on this one. She saw a dishonest but "legal" tweet ("They screamed .." while showing a picture that made it look like the lady was screaming at a kid), and then posted multiple tweet directly accusing the woman of being a racist and screaming at a kid.

The kid went on TV to say the woman had been totally civil with him
If you believe what you read on Twiter, and use it to attack someone, you HSOULD get sued, and lose

Greg the class traitor said...

If you're going to complain about Wuhan Flu risks when Trump has campaign rallies, then you can't complain when he skips the mass crowds

Pick one

Yancey Ward said...

I heard that Trump took a shit in the White House lavoratory during a break in a meeting with his campaign staff.

What is hilarious about the complaints from the media is that every single fucking question they ask Trump at these things are basically Biden Campaign strategy.

Achilles said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said...
I heard that Trump took a shit in the White House lavoratory during a break in a meeting with his campaign staff.

He also drank some water.

With two hands.

It was a disaster.

Drago said...

Helpless Howard: "Trump and Drago do CCP's bidding by exacerbating the spread of the engineered Wuhan virus."

LOL

Just yesterday and today:

Trump ends preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong

US warship sails contested waters in South China Sea after White House rejects China’s maritime claims there

You see, Howard was told to believe in the laughable and moronic russia collusion...so he did. Then Howard was told to believe in the hoax dossier....so he did. Then Howard was told to believe in Kavanaugh gang rape charges....so he did.

Then Howard was told to switch it up and pretend Trump has gone easy on China....the nation that Trump lowered the boom on with sanctions and heavy tariffs to force China to the negotiation table to redo Trade deals to the benefit of the US.

So Howard switched it up....because he's just that much of a lemming.

Skeptical Voter said...

So Trump walked out the back door of his house and took an oppo dump on Biden in the garden. Ho hum--women, chldren, POC, LGBTQQ and indigenouis people hurt worst---or so the press will report it.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Another sign of dem's desperation. Howie been soilin hisself lately!

wholelottasplainin' said...

Sebastian said...
So Trump is wrong to campaign in arenas cuz WuFlu, and he's wrong to campaign from the WH cuz it's the WH, which leaves --?
**********************

Easy. Biden showed him how, just the other day, when he turned up in the middle of the street and wound up talking to a "crowd" of ten people.

THAT's what the MSM would like to see.

Drago said...

BUMBLE BEE: "Another sign of dem's desperation. Howie been soilin hisself lately!"

Howard really did buy the BS his "betters" were peddling when they told him the rioters were modern day Normandy Heroes.

Howie was expecting a Saving Private Ryan treatment of his "heroic" child murderers.

Howard said...

Drago plays up the nothingburger confrontation with china to cover up their role in the eventual $250,000 causalities China inflicts on the US with the aid and comfort of Trump and his willing minions.

RMc said...

Everything is always wrong when Republicans do it, and doublepluswrong when Trump does it.

Inga said...

Trump can keep campaigning until the cows come home, it looks like it’s not helping him.

July 15, 2020 - Biden Widens Lead Over Trump To 15 Points In Presidential Race, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Trump Job Approval Rating Drops To 36 Percent

“Independents are a key factor behind Biden's widening lead as they now back him 51 - 34 percent, while in June, independents were split with 43 percent for Biden and 40 percent for Trump. There is also some movement among Republicans as they back Trump 84 - 9 percent, compared to 92 - 7 percent in June. Democrats go to Biden 91 - 5 percent, little changed from 93 - 4 percent in June.”

Inga said...

And another one...
Biden opens up 11-point national lead over Trump in NBC News/WSJ poll
The presumptive Democratic nominee has a 51-40 percent lead, while 72 percent say the U.S. is on wrong track.

Howard said...

Trump took a giant shit on red states with his CCP inspired Covid advise. Now he blames Mexicans and Yankees for the uptick in the shithole states and you people eat it up like chocolate ice cream.

Francisco D said...

Keep hope alive, Inga.

Dukakis has an insurmountable lead.
Oops! wrong race.

Kerry has an insurmountable lead.
Oops! wrong again.

Carter has an insurmountable lead.
ops!

Hillary has an insurmountable lead.
Damn! I give up.

Gk1 said...

Hilarious interview with Biden this morning. He starts with "Arizona is one of the important cities" and goes downhill after that. Watch at the end where his minders abruptly cut off the "interview" when he's asked about China. Oh boy this campaign season is gonna' be fun! :-)

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/07/biden-staffer-interrupts-news-anchor-live-air-cuts-screen-tries-end-interview-early-biden-can-embarrass-video/

Drago said...

Russia Collusion Truther Inga: "Trump can keep campaigning until the cows come home, it looks like it’s not helping him.

July 15, 2020 - Biden Widens Lead Over Trump To 15 Points In Presidential Race, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Trump Job Approval Rating Drops To 36 Percent"

Here's a good one:

Dukakis Lead Widens, According to New Poll
July 26, 1988
NYT

"Fifty-five percent of the 948 registered voters interviewed in the poll said they preferred to see Mr. Dukakis win the 1988 Presidential election, while 38 percent said they preferred to see Mr. Bush win. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points."

Wow. A 17 point Dukakis lead over Bush.

Impressive.

https://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/26/us/dukakis-lead-widens-according-to-new-poll.html

Drago said...

Here's one of my favorites from 2016:

Pro-Jeb strategist: 'Data died tonight'

By ADAM CANCRYN 11/09/2016 12:16 AM EST

"Republican strategist Mike Murphy is offering up a mea culpa, tweeting that he "could not have been more wrong about this election."

Murphy, who ran Jeb Bush's Right to Rise super PAC, had maintained earlier Tuesday evening that Donald Trump would lose his bid for the presidency, even as Trump inched closer to a win in Florida. But he acknowledged that the night's results caught him completely off guard.

"I've believed in data for 30 years in politics and data died tonight," he tweeted."

Poor Mike and gang. They don't know that Inga knows what others don't know.

If only they had come to Althouse during the Mueller witch hunt when Inga provided daily mindreading downloads from the Mueller team.

Drago said...

Inga doesn't seem to be handling the intensive DOJ operation against her beloved "spark of divinity" MS-13 machete murderers very well today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3sSjlw4dg8

Not to worry Inga.

Your MS13 pals are still trying to crash the border and get into the US so they can perform more of their "spark of divinity" activities.

Drago said...

BTW, here's the best part of that NYT link to the insurmountable Dukakis lead over HW Bush in 1988:

"Another poll, conducted in Texas, also showed Mr. Dukakis gaining ground from the convention. The survey of 504 registered voters likely to cast ballots, conducted on Friday and Saturday by Peter Hart, a Democratic poll taker, showed Mr. Dukakis leading Mr. Bush by 50 percent to 40 percent."

Yep.

That's right.

The NYT was calling it a 10-point Dukakis lead over Bush in July of 1988....in Texas.

A 10-point Massachusetts liberal "lead" over Texas homestater Bush....in Texas.

I can recall liberal friends in Texas gloating over that one.......up until the very end....

Sorry Inga. Suppression polls just aren't working anymore.

But I hope they keep you warm at night...(I'm assuming the antifa fires have burned out by now).

Inga said...

I feel worst for Drago.

Drago said...

Inga: "I feel worst for Drago."

I feel worst for the victims of your beloved MS13 machete murderers.

But you do you.

Big Mike said...

So Howard switched it up....because he's just that much of a lemming.

@Drago, Howard is not a lemming. Howard is an educated fool.