What’s the Deal With the Red, White and Blue Trucks at Biden’s Speeches?

The president-elect had a fleet of Jeep Gladiators and Wranglers, Ford Rangers and Chevy Silverados

Jeep trucks Joe Biden speech
The Chase Center parking lot was full of patriotic trucks and SUVs in the lead-up to Joe Biden's victory speech on Saturday.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

If you’ve watched any of Joe Biden’s speeches in the last week, most significantly on Saturday night at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware after he was declared the next president of the United States, you may have noticed a repeated visual theme: a sea of red, white and blue trucks and SUVs so clean they reflected the light of the celebratory fireworks. 

The fleet included Jeep Gladiators and Wranglers, as well as Ford Raptors and Chevrolet Silverados. But where did they come from? Were only Biden-Harris supporters with spit-shined, American-made trucks allowed into the crowd? Did the automakers sponsor the now president-elect? Not quite.

As BuzzFeed News explained this weekend, the patriotic trucks and SUVs were simply an extension of the COVID-conscious drive-in rallies Biden has been hosting throughout his campaign: “They were reserved for the family and friends who would be arriving with Biden to his socially distanced ‘drive-in’ rally — the proverbial front row in a sea of other cars.” That group included Biden’s brother Jimmy, sister Valerie and Jill Biden’s sisters. 

Apart from being a way to safely celebrate during a pandemic, Jalopnik writes that the cars were also symbolic of president-elect Biden’s long history of supporting, and receiving support from, workers in the U.S. auto industry. While the companies themselves don’t make political endorsements, the United Auto Workers union — which represents Jeep, Ford and Chevy workers, among others — endorsed Joe Biden. And the Gladiator, Wrangler, Ranger and Silverado? They’re all U.S.- and union-built vehicles.

As BuzzFeed reported, the trucks and SUVs were set up in the parking lot of the Chase Center on Election Day and sat there until Saturday night when they got their time to, quite literally, shine.

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