Donald Trump campaigns tomorrow in our Arizona desert oasis.
I’ve no idea what the turnout will be. But, this I do know. In a county of some 4-million souls, his appearance will be at a church that seats only about three–thousand. No “spillover” site. Just this one auditorium/sanctuary. Far cry from a 19-thousand seat arena in Tulsa. It’s also forecast to be 110 degrees.
A side note. Church staff had no idea Trump was coming. Rental was to a group of kids for an all-day event. Trump shows up mid-afternoon
The Tulsa “campaign kickoff” rally attracted about 62-hundred folk, according to the Tulsa Fire Department. Subtract a large media presence, arena staff, security and the chartered plane load of folks from D.C. the campaign sponsored and the number drops into something above 5-thousand. Far cry from “millions” expected.
The whole farcical “rally” was a failure on every count. Even Trump can’t spin it as a success in any way. I’d expect some staff firings this week. The proffered excuses blaming the media and an imaginary crowd of protesters blocking arena entrances haven’t withstood the light of day. Yes, there were about 200 protesters near the arena but they in no way even interacted with the Trumpers until after the “show.” Even then, there was little contact.
The words were largely the same that we’re used to. But, there seemed to be a different tone. Maybe it had to do with his obvious anger over the disappointing turnout. Maybe it was the empty seats he had to see each time he looked up. There was just none of the usual vocal thrust of previous times.
Many political pros who follow Trump on a daily basis are beginning to talk among themselves about his health - especially his mental health. The man has to be feeling enormous pressures the presidency itself exerts on anyone who’s held that office. In Trump’s case, those pressures may not feel as heavy because of his abysmal ignorance of history, foreign affairs, diplomacy and nearly every other aspect of the job. He doesn’t listen. He doesn’t learn.
But, there has to be an additional load coming from more than three dozen legal actions in which he’s named as the defendant. There are other cases in the legal stream yet to be prosecuted. The attorney general of New York, the office of the Prosecutor of the Southern District of New York, the similar office in Northern Virginia and others are investigating Trump and his fellow-travelers on several fronts.
Don’t forget the women who’ve accused him of various crimes, some of whom have court actions pending. I suspect, after he leaves office, “Citizen Trump” will have to face some of his accusers. Several times.
Trump has to be feeling pressures on many fronts. He’s acting and campaigning like someone who realizes, if he doesn’t win, he may wind up in jail. He’s beginning to sound, to me, a bit like Captain Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny.” (“I knew there were strawberries.”)
Something else seemed to be apparent in his Saturday “performance.” Trump threw stinging - and false - charges about Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Democrats in general. Guttural words. The tone was harsh and delivered as angry threats. As in other appearances recently, Trump is showing he will say anything, do anything, ignore facts by making up false accusations about Biden or anyone else he sees as dangerous or threatening to his re-election. Anything.
The Saturday disaster also showed something surprising. The kids. The young people. Others who turned technology against the campaign pro’s. Their use of the I-net to create the appearance of widespread national interest by fomenting chaos with false ticket sales that led Trump and his minions to believe they were creating a truly historic even in Tulsa. They got suckered by a complete scam.
What those kids really did was send a message that they’re watching Trump and his campaign, they’re technology savvy and they’re going to be a factor henceforth. I’ve no idea how many of the scammers are old enough to vote. But, they’re paying enough attention to what’s happening politically to be a force to be reckoned no matter their age.
Trump’s on the ropes right now. He’s losing in court. He’s losing in polls. Saturday’s Tulsa disappointing turnout may - just may - indicate even his base is crumbling a bit. Some of the 30-million or so that were important to him in 2016 may be falling away. One rally, one time, doesn’t prove much. But, I’d have to think his campaign pros are going to do some serious internal polling and try to create something to shore up whatever support they can.
Yep, Tulsa didn’t work out well. I’ll let you know about Arizona.