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Kamis, 10 Desember 2020

Donald Trump could hold a 2024 re-election rally at the moment Joe Biden gets sworn in at his inauguration - ABC News

If rumours are to be believed, Donald Trump may be planning a rally to kick off his 2024 bid for re-election at exactly the same time Joe Biden is sworn in as the new US president.

This would be the election equivalent of getting engaged at someone else's wedding.

Reports in the US media attributed to sources close to the President have speculated there is "preliminary planning" underway for a massive, made-for-TV event in Florida while Biden's inauguration is taking place in Washington DC on January 20.

Trump will reportedly announce his plans to run again, before departing on his final Marine One and Air Force One flights, while snubbing his successor's ceremony.

So can he do that? And what does it mean for the new president's transition into power?

Doesn't Trump have to be at the inauguration?

It's possibly the polite thing to do, and certainly it is customary, but the answer is no.

Regardless, it is still a longstanding tradition that the outgoing president attends the inauguration, as a very public showing of the peaceful transfer of power and a symbolic showing of national unity after a tough election campaign.

Michelle Obama looks stern while standing with Melania Trump, Donald Trump and Barack Obama
The Obamas participated in the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017.(Reuters: Rob Carr)

If Trump were to follow this tradition, he and Melania would attend the swearing-in and listen to Biden's speech before taking their final flights.

Has anyone else ever skipped the ceremony?

Only five outgoing presidents have chosen not to attend their successor's inauguration.

  • John Adams, who was still smarting over his loss to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, departed the White House at 4:00am on the morning of his successor's inauguration
  • Like his father, John Quincy Adams didn't attend the inauguration of Andrew Jackson in 1829
  • Andrew Johnson refused to attend the 1869 inauguration of his nemesis Ulysses S Grant
  • Woodrow Wilson did not attend Warren G Harding's inauguration in 1921 because of poor health
  • Richard Nixon left Washington DC prior to his resignation over the Watergate scandal and the handing over of the reins to Gerald Ford in 1974

What does this mean for Biden?

Not much, in respect to his transition to power.

Trump doesn't need to sign anything, or hand over the keys to the White House in any sort of formal ceremony.

Photos show the crowds at the inauguration ceremonies of Donald Trump and Barack Obama
The coronavirus pandemic will likely mean fewer people at Joe Biden's inauguration than were at the ceremonies of Donald Trump in 2017 and Barack Obama in 2009.(Reuters: Lucas Jackson, Stelios Varias)

US presidential inaugurations are usually big, lavish events that capture the attention of the entire nation.

But in the midst of a worsening pandemic, it appears likely that the pomp and ceremony will be pared back.

Construction has already begun on spectator platforms near the White House, but crowds are likely to be limited to stop the further spread of coronavirus.

Workers construct wooden viewing stands in front of a white building, near a fence covered in Black Lives Matters posters.
Workers construct viewing stands for the 2021 Inaugural Parade in front of the White House, near the memorial fence at Black Lives Matter Plaza.(Reuters: Jonathan Ernst)

It could steal some of Biden's limelight if Trump decides to put on a show that manages to lure the attention of the media.

However, at noon on January 20 (4:00am AEDT January 21), with or without crowds and fanfare, Biden will still take the oath of office to become the 46th president of the United States.

What about the White House tour?

Usually by this stage the outgoing president has invited his successor for a meeting at the White House.

Barack Obama hosted Trump for a 90-minute meeting just days after the 2016 election.

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump.
Donald Trump and Barack Obama met just days after the 2016 US eleciton.(AP: Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Then vice-president-elect Mike Pence and outgoing vice-president Joe Biden shared a meeting as well.

However, Trump has scheduled no such meeting.

Would Trump's rally be welcomed in Florida?

There's no denying Trump can draw a crowd.

Thousands of mostly unmasked supporters turned out on the weekend to his rally in Georgia, where Trump spent around 100 minutes repeating unfounded claims of election corruption while also rallying for Republican Senate candidates in the state.

You view a man with a ponytail smiling while wearing sunglasses and a bright red shirt that reads 'Georgia'.
Senate elections in Georgia will decide whether Mr Biden's presidency will be unimpeded or not.(AP: Ben Gray)

Trump won the popular vote in Florida, and will take the electoral college as well.

He has no shortage of supporters there.

However, the rumour has drawn disgust from some Democrats, including Congresswoman Lois Frankel, who said a public event by the outgoing president at the time of the inauguration would be "rude, disrespectful and embarrassing".

"The inauguration of a new president should signify the peaceful transition of one administration to another," Frankel said.

"A Trump political event around the inauguration would send the wrong message to the American people, as well to our allies and enemies, jeopardising our domestic and national security."

How exactly will Biden become president?

Basically, there are three steps.

The first step is on December 14, when the electors cast their votes for the next president and vice-president.

There are 538 votes in the electoral college, and a majority of 270 is needed to clinch the presidency.

Biden is expected to win with 306 votes to Trump's 232.

Secondly, Congress will tabulate and affirm the results on January 6.

Finally, on January 20, the new vice-president and president take their oath and sign the official form that transfers power.

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiaWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIwLTEyLTExL2RvbmFsZC10cnVtcC1taWdodC1ob2xkLWFsbHktd2hlbi1qb2UtYmlkZW4tZ2V0cy1zd29ybi1pbi8xMjk2NDIwNNIBJ2h0dHBzOi8vYW1wLmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvYXJ0aWNsZS8xMjk2NDIwNA?oc=5

2020-12-10 19:00:00Z
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