Credit: (Clockwise from left) Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, David Greedy/Getty Images

The "campaign plane" is becoming another casualty of the pandemic.

Driving the news: Joe Biden's team hasn't booked any air travel — and thus has no need to lease an aircraft with the Democratic nominee's name and logo emblazoned on the side, a candidate tradition for decades, people familiar with the plans tell Axios.

The big picture: Biden is betting that following public health guidelines is the most strategic as well as responsible path to the presidency. Eschewing large events and staying grounded allows him to draw yet another contrast with President Trump, who is gassing up Air Force One to hit outdoor “hangar” rallies in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Arizona this week.

  • Most swing states have set limits on the size of any gatherings — though the campaigns may interpret them differently.
  • Officials with the campaign and in the states say Pennsylvania's limit for gatherings is 25 indoors and 250 outdoors; Michigan's are 10 and 100; Wisconsin has county-by-county rules.
  • Campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo contrasted Biden's approach with Trump in a lengthy statement that charges Trump with "gambling with American lives for his own political gain."

Biden aides say he hasn't completely ruled out flying between now and November — and that the campaign could change course if individual states change their guidelines.

Flashback: Presidential (and VP) campaigns typically unveil their planes over the summer, marking the final phase in the race. These aircraft take on looks, smells and stories of their own as they hurtle through the sky — sites for moving press conferences and private huddles with advisers through the highs, lows and decision points of every race.

  • Photographers traditionally snap photos of candidates waving from the steps and then scramble up into the back with the traveling reporters. Staff and U.S. Secret Service agents fill the middle section of the plane. The candidates (as well as their families and any VIPs) sit up front.

Over the years, photos have captured candidates' sometimes emotional reactions as they behold the glistening beasts that will transport them and embody their political status.

  • John McCain reacted with a look of surprise to see his name stenciled onto the side of his 737 on June 30, 2008.
  • Barack Obama boarded his “Change We can Believe” 757 on July 20, 2008.
  • Mitt Romney stepped onto his “Believe in America” plane August 31, 2012.
  • When Hillary Clinton let reporters onto her “Stronger Together” plane Sept. 5 2016, she called it “the last moment before the mad dash.”
  • Trump was an exception. In 2016, he said no thanks to a traditional campaign plane since he already had his own: He rode “Trump Force One" while the press corps followed on a separate charter, which sometimes got left behind.

Be smart: Some campaign veterans have been arguing for years for a permanent ground stoppage — and now there's an excuse.

  • “The days of the traditional campaign plane loaded with lots of press traveling around the country are over, even after the pandemic ends,” predicted Steve Duprey, a prominent New Hampshire Republican who had served as a senior adviser to McCain’s 2008 campaign. “The planes and the effort to staff and move them are expensive and time consuming."

Go deeper

How Trump, Biden plan to score at Tuesday's debate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump has been practicing with flashcards and prepping with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before Tuesday's presidential debate.

Behind the scenes: Top aides tell Axios he's been testing his attacks on the campaign trail for weeks, seeing what ignites his crowds or falls flat. One of the biggest themes Trump plans to drive home is his "tough guy" persona, which advisers see as an advantage with voters in key states.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 a.m. ET: 33,282,969 — Total deaths: 1,000,867 — Total recoveries: 23,066,203Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 a.m. ET: 7,148,009 — Total deaths: 205,069 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.

Bob Woodward: "I was not going to hide" my opinion on Trump

Bob Woodward didn't want to join Senate Republicans in privately condemning President Trump but declining to do so publicly, he told Jonathan Swan in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Woodward has covered 9 presidents, but Trump is the first that Woodward explicitly described as "the wrong man for the job."

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