In 2020, Joe Biden earned the questionable distinction of presiding over the first presidential campaign perhaps in all of US history — though it’s possible I missed something from the Martin Van Buren era — to adopt the practice of habitually holding “public” campaign-style events that the general public was not actually allowed to attend. So far did the strange secrecy go, that basic informational details which interested citizens would have previously been able to easily obtain — such as the time and location of a “rally” — were kept conspicuously hidden. Unlike in past election cycles, Joe and Jane Sixpack could no longer attend such rallies to hear directly from a major party’s presidential or vice presidential candidate. Instead, access was limited to those with insider info; if you were just a normal person who wanted to go, as had generally been available to you for the past couple hundred years, you were out of luck.
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