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With everything to lose, Trump barrels into final stretch

With everything to lose, Trump barrels into final stretch

AFP
Waukesha, United States
In a single day, he covered more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) aboard Air Force One, hitting three different campaign rallies from the country’s south to the midwest.
And Donald Trump has shown his willingness to keep up the frenetic pace he set on Saturday all the way until the November 3 election.
Trailing in the polls -- if they are to be believed this time -- the pedal-to-the metal approach in the final stretch will prove to be his key to another shocking win, or the last lap of his presidency.
Either way, the 74-year-old who recently recovered from Covid-19, is forging ahead with an undeniable energy, relentlessly evoking the memory of his victorious finish in 2016.
In Lumberton, North Carolina, at a stage built in the middle of a field, a huge American flag hung between two hydraulic cranes, he appears in the early afternoon under a blazing sun.
“I am going to be a lobster!” Trump declares to laughter. “Does anybody have some sun protection for your president please?”
As for the polls, he employs the kind of sly talk that he often uses with the crowds that adore his approach.
“When they come in my favor, I repeat them all the time,” he says. “When they’re not in my favor, I don’t discuss that.” Only four hours later, he is in Circleville, Ohio, further north, under a cold, gray sky.
He has put on a coat, and the audience is more subdued, as is he. In the evening, he is in Waukesha, Wisconsin, not far from Lake Michigan.
The compact crowd has shown up despite a biting autumn cold, with temperatures close to freezing.
“We win Wisconsin, it’s over!” says Trump, rediscovering his energy from earlier in the day. Once again, the former reality TV show star puts on the performance the crowds have come to see.
“By the way, you’ve got to get out and vote,” he says.
“I mean, I’m out here. What the hell time is it? And it’s freezing. If I don’t win this state, I’m going to come back and I’m going to be very angry with you.”
Whether it’s Lumberton, Circleville or Waukesha, beyond the ups and downs of the Trump show, the crowd always comes to life at the rally’s end, when the first notes of the Village People’s “YMCA” blares from the speakers.
Trump himself engages in a few dance moves, which have inevitably become the subject of TikTok videos.
It’s all done to show the contrast between Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden, and the contrast is indeed striking.
Biden, 77, has run a more restrained campaign, preaching the necessity of maintaining Covid-19 precautions as the virus spreads relentlessly and criticizing his opponent’s often erratic approach.
When Saturday’s marathon schedule was announced, White House spokesman Ben Williamson said Trump “will visit more states in one day -- a Saturday -- than Joe Biden has visited this entire week.”
Speaking to journalists aboard Air Force One, the president himself pointed to the differences.
With a relaxed look, he seemed to enjoy the idea of ramping it up to five rallies per day.

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