Perhaps the most remarkable part of the recent ad released by President Trump’s reelection campaign is that, in the majority of clips in which Trump is shown, he’s wearing a mask.
That, by itself, tells you what the ad, titled “Carefully,” hopes to achieve. Despite broad skepticism about Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the ad hopes to persuade Americans that Trump’s approach has been sober and robust.
“President Trump tackled the virus head on, as leaders should,” the woman providing the narration states at one point.
It cuts to Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s leading infectious-disease expert.
“I can’t imagine that … anybody could be doing more,” he says.
It’s the sort of ad that campaigns produce all the time, repackaging unpopular opinions as popular ones. And it includes another common tactic: using an independent voice of authority — in this case, Fauci’s — to bolster that case.