It looks like Donald Trump just can’t quite pack ’em in like he (never) used to. He’s been lying out loud since the campaign trail about the size of the crowds at his rallies, with fire marshals and building owners frequently correcting the record and issuing statements about the facilities he uses not even holding a fraction of the number he claims are inside the events. But the one thing he never seems to mention is how long attendees stay at those rallies.
His Panama City event in Florida last night was a perfect example of why he omits this key detail.
The New York Times “review” of Wednesday’s multitude of MAGA-clad fans told the excruciating story of a man holding the same rally he’s held a thousand times for what appeared to be the thousand-and-first, like AC/DC putting out a new record that sounds exactly like their previous 13 albums: “Lock her up” chants, pokes at the “fake news media,” nicknames for his political enemies, the scary dangers of brown people, and for good measure, one more iteration of his monumental misunderstanding of how tariffs work.
But at this point, reports the Times, it almost looks like Trump is just going through the motions:
[It] was a discursive performance, even by Mr. Trump’s standards, and the mood was notably less electric than at some of his other rallies. The crowd began straggling out during the latter half of the speech, to the sound of helicopter engines being warmed up in a nearby field.”
He can fire them up, for sure. The folks at a Trump rally are keyed into a frequency that vibrates whenever the shrill bark of a “believe me” is uttered into a microphone. But like puppies, yuppies, and guppies, the attention span of a Donald Trump fan is as short as the time between when the President crows about jobs numbers and when those numbers are revised downward.
Now it’s left to those of us who would never consider going to a Trump rally (or watching one unforced by one’s profession) to imagine how pathetic the trembling double chin and forehead veins look in front of half a crowd in the sweltering heat of a Florida panhandle night.
Or, you know, you can just not imagine it. The half of the crowd that left is doing it for you.
Featured image is a screen capture.