United States, presidential challenger Joe Biden is facing some stiff competition in getting his campaign message out, as widespread protests continue across the country.
President Donald Trump spent much of the weekend using Twitter as a bullhorn to urge "law and order" and tougher action by police against protesters around the country.
Biden quietly visited the site of protests in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, and talked to some of the demonstrators. Earlier, he wrote a post on Medium expressing empathy for those despairing about the death of George Floyd in police custody.
That low-key, high-touch approach might be a sign of how the presumptive Democratic nominee presents himself in the five months before the presidential election, emphasising calm and competence as a contrast to the president.
This approach carries the risk of being drowned out by the much louder, more-persistent voice of Trump. On one of the most profound weekends in the nation, with violence in dozens of cities, Biden was out of wide public view.
"He's not in office, and he certainly does not have the megaphone like the person currently occupying the White House does, but I do think our people are looking for someone who can make them feel better during these extremely tough times," said Republican Val Demings of Florida, whom Biden is considering as a running mate.
"America just needs to be reassured that there's someone who's understanding, someone who's willing to say, 'Yes, we do have some issues', and someone who's willing to address it."
Reassurance requires presence, though, and that has been a hurdle for the former vice-president, driven inside by the coronavirus pandemic.
There are some signs Biden is looking to take on a more-active role. On Sunday, his campaign released a photo of him visiting the site of protests in Wilmington. Biden, wearing a mask to protect from COVID-19, knelt down to talk to a man and a young child.
"The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose," Biden wrote in a message attached to the photo. "And as President, I will help lead this conversation - and more importantly, I will listen."
On Monday, Biden plans to venture out again to meet community leaders in Wilmington.
Demings said she has also offered to have discussions with the Biden campaign on criminal justice reforms.
"What I have done is offer my service to the campaign and, and anyone else, to look at what we can do working together moving forward. And so we'll see. We have a lot of work to do," she said. "We're going to discuss ideas and make recommendations."
Biden released a criminal justice reform plan last July, but had not issued an updated or more specific proposal since. In early May, he released his "Plan for Black America," an economic- and education-focused agenda including marijuana decriminalisation.
Much of Biden's campaign strategy centres on trying to draw a contrast with Trump on temperament and values. He's called the White House contest a battle for the soul of the nation and has been particularly forceful in condemning Trump's handling of moments of racial tension.
Australian Associated Press