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Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ira L. Black/Getty Images     

When President Trump first took office, there was lots of talk about "normalization."

The state of play: Today, American voters will either codify a new normal or relegate many of Trump's unconventional tactics to history's anomalous footnotes. Among them is browbeating and boycotting U.S. companies.

  • Trump began tweet-supporting boycotts well before he became president, including against Starbucks (for its infamous red holiday cups) and the maker of Oreos (because it was moving some production to Mexico).
  • He continued the practice after Inauguration Day, giving oxygen to grievances that ranged from policy (e.g., Harley-Davidson) to politics (e.g., Goodyear) to personal (e.g., pick a social media or mainstream media company).
  • Many of these tweets caused the target company's stock to sink, although the impacts were more pronounced earlier in Trump's term.

Joe Biden doesn't have the same type of history, either before or during the 2020 campaign. This isn't to argue that he's an uncritical friend to business — for example, he wants higher corporate taxes and shares some of Trump's animus toward Silicon Valley — but rather that his strikes would be of the more traditional, technocratic variety.

Flashback: Earlier this year, Trump made a false comment about a Fortune 500 company, related to an action it had taken. When I asked the company’s communications chief why he wouldn't comment on the record, he replied that it wasn’t worth the barrage of negative tweets that would likely follow. “We’d rather minimize the damage,” he explained.

The bottom line: We've stopped being shocked, or even surprised, when the White House attacks an American company by name. One question on the ballot today is if that change is permanent.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Off the Rails

Descent into madness

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

18 mins ago - World

China crosses 1 billion vaccinations, with 500 million in one month

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

China has now administered 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines — 500 million of them in just the past month. That's half of the global total during that period.

The big picture: China's vaccine rollout started slowly, due in part to a low sense of urgency and also to the fact that the government was focusing on exporting doses.