Critical Moment in Trump’s Campaign

( – A critical moment in former President Donald Trump’s campaign came on Feb. 22, 2023, when he visited East Palestine, Ohio, less than one month after the 38-car Norfolk Southern train derailed, sending toxic chemicals into the air and ground when officials decided to burn off the chemicals to prevent an explosion.

Last year, the White House said President Joe Biden would visit the town, but he never did. A year after the derailment, Biden is now slated to visit East Palestine in February following intense pressure to visit. He plans to discuss the federal government’s response to the disaster.

The people who lived in the area and had been evacuated from their homes following the disaster were seeking help from those in the government. Republican Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance visited the area many times, as did Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. However, President Joe Biden, the one with the most power, never showed up to visit the town.

According to Vance, Trump’s visit let the people of East Palestine know that someone in politics cared about them, saying the “visit filled the leadership vacuum” that Biden left by not visiting the area. He added that the visit “sent a clear message” that “We can’t leave them behind.”

During the press conference, Trump told the residents of the small town of 4,700, “You are not forgotten,” as he stood with cases of bottled “Trump” water to distribute to the residents.

Resident Tammy Tsai said the town is “the symbol or poster child” of the type of place often forgotten by Washington, adding that’s why Trump’s visit was “massively important” because it showed them he cared.

Marcy Ford, who owns a farm in East Palestine, stated, “Showing up matters.”

Polling at the time of Trump’s visit showed him and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis in a tight race. However, a month after his visit, showing up when Biden refused, the polling shifted to show Trump ahead of DeSantis.

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