Live by the rally, die by the rally

Donald Trump loves his rallies. It seems like the only part of his limited schedule that he really enjoys, probably because he is the center of attention in a crowd of adoring fans, something that a narcissist like him craves. These occasions enable him to recycle well-worn material that he knows will draw a positive response from the crowd. His audience seems to be like Grateful Dead fans who are quite happy to hear the greatest hits over and over again. It enables him to forget for a while any bad news about his lack of accomplishments.

I have speculated in the past that even for the most adoring fan, these rallies would eventually wear thin. I have been somewhat surprised that they seemed to be still holding up. But there are signs that they may be losing their appeal. Recent rallies have been scheduled in venues that are relatively small and even though crowds have turned up, he has not been able to fill the arenas as he once did and overflow crowds are things of the past.

Andy Kroll writes that there are some warning signs that the enthusiasm for his rallies is waning.

Trump descended on Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday evening to hold a rally for his 2020 reelection campaign. It was a presidential visit set against the backdrop of a slouching stock market, evidence of economic trouble at home and abroad, and fresh indications a recession isn’t far off. The disturbing economic news had infused the president’s tweets with a streak of desperation.

His rally in New Hampshire, perhaps not surprisingly, felt more deranged than we’re used to seeing with this president, a mash-up of greatest hits, miscues, and misinformation.

His performance veered into the bizarre and incoherent from there.

But by the second hour of Trump’s New Hampshire appearance, the president’s speech began to sound like a shtick that had lost its novelty, a routine worn-out from overuse.

Apparently even some of Trump’s fans have gotten tired of the act. Elaina Plott, a reporter for the Atlantic who attended the rally, tweeted that people were heading for the exits before the president had finished talking:

Trump spoke for two hours? Listening for that long would be hard even for the most devoted fan. Trump may be losing his touch for reading the room and has forgotten the adage that the audience should leave leave wanting more. Trump may be turning into a caricature of an ageing standup comedian who does not realize that he needs to freshen and sharpen up his act, cut out some of the chaff, and add new material.


  1. Ridana says

    The audience should leave leave wanting more? Oh no, all this time he thought the saying was, “the audience shouldn’t leave me wanting more”!

    For the longest time I hoped he’d have a “Lonesome” Rhodes moment caught on open mic where he says exactly what he thinks of the suckers who buy his schtick, but then I realized it wouldn’t matter. And he’s proved that, with the supporter he insulted for being fat, who still supports him, or the relatives of the baby whose parents were killed by someone Trump inspired, who still support him. Really, what kind of campaign slogan is, “Vote for me -- even if you hate me, you really don’t have a choice!”?

  2. says

    If a union demanded attendance at a Sanders or Warren rally, you can be sure rightwingnuts would be whining about “captive audiences” and “denial of freeze peach”. But when it’s forced attendence for Annoying Orange, somehow it doesn’t bother them….

    Workers had 3 options: Attend Trump’s speech, use paid time off or receive no pay

    Washington (CNN)Workers at the Pennsylvania petrochemical plant where President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday were told that if they didn’t attend the event, they either had to use paid time off or receive no pay for the day.

    At least some of the workers who attended the speech were instructed not to protest the President, who told the crowd of workers at the Royal Dutch Shell plant he would be imploring their union leaders to support his reelection.

    The instructions to the workers came in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by CNN’s Polo Sandoval from a congressional source. That source was given the memo by a person in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — the site of the plant.

    “Your attendance is not mandatory. This will be considered an excused absence. However, those who are NOT in attendance will not receive overtime pay on Friday,” read part of the memo.

  3. jrkrideau says

    @3 Matt G
    Being compelled to be there? That doesn’t sound like freedom to me.
    Well no, but it sounds like the USA.

  4. Loren Petrich says

    President Trump’s narcissism was on display when he recently tweeted
    Like it or not, Tlaib and Omar are fast becoming the face of the Democrat Party. Cortez (AOC) is fuming, not happy about this!
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded
    (tears-of-laughter emoji)
    I think that President Trump projected his entitled narcissism onto her. He feels affronted when anyone does not give him the love that he believes that he deserves. Like when AOC defeated Joe Crowley, the 20-year-incumbent “King of Queens”, he tweeted
    Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!

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