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Currently reading this article, a line says,

Former President Barack Obama steps onto the campaign trail Wednesday with a drive-in rally in Philadelphia as Joe Biden and President Donald Trump battle for key swing state Pennsylvania. Obama will speak at 6 p.m. EDT.

I checked such as this page, which says:

A drive-in is a restaurant, cinema, or other commercial place which is specially designed so that customers can use the services provided while staying in their cars.

but I am not sure which definition fits with this bold one or if there may be other meaning.

2 Answers 2

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I doubt the terms “drive-in” and “rally” have ever been combined like this before, but the meaning seems fairly logical.

Normally, political rallies are held in person, usually indoors. I would assume that, due to COVID concerns, they have changed this so that attendees can stay safely isolated in their cars, similar to a drive-in movie rather than going inside a movie theater.

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  • I think I don't have anything to say anymore if you say "I doubt the terms “drive-in” and “rally” have ever been combined like this before," Thanks.
    – user17814
    Oct 21, 2020 at 16:57
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in this context it means that BO is in Philly for a short time/limited engagement, but his presence will show support to JB's cause, in effect asking his supports to rally for JB.

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  • Thank you for your answer. But could you kindly use less acronyms since I'm not a native speaker?
    – user17814
    Oct 21, 2020 at 16:52
  • @Kentaro - The only "acronyms" here are initials: BO for Barack Obama and JB for Joe Biden. My only problem with this answer is that it doesn't really address your question about the term "drive-in".
    – J.R.
    Oct 21, 2020 at 16:53
  • @J.R. Yes, it goes without saying for you, native speaker, but I am sorry I could not understand when I came across BO at first (though I understood later.)
    – user17814
    Oct 21, 2020 at 16:55
  • It's not a "native speaker" thing. It threw me for a moment also.
    – J.R.
    Oct 21, 2020 at 16:56

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