Meet The New Grift, Same As The Old Grift

Ken AshfordElection 2020, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Trump “officiially” launched his 2020 campaign with a rally in Orlando last night, although what made it “official” is hard to tell. In fact, what made it 2020 was hard to tell, as Trump spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the same things he talked about in 2016. Like the wall. Like “jina” (China). Oh, and Hillary Clinton, who is not running in 2020.

If you want to know how the system is rigged, just compare how they came after us for three years with everything they had compared to the free pass they gave to Hillary and her aides after they set an illegal server, destroyed evidence, deleted an acid washed 33,000 emails, exposed classified information, and turned the State Department into a pay-for-play cash machine. 33,000 emails deleted!

In fact, he repeatedly railed against Clinton and Barack Obama’s alleged crimes and malfeasance in office. Strangely he had not a word to say about any of his potential 2020 opponents.

This just happened:

But then, it’s clear that Trump’s fans in the crowd weren’t there to hear any new material. They were like a PBS senior citizen audience gathered to see a line-up of aging 1960s icons perform for fundraising week. They wanted to hear all the hits so they could chant along with all the old familiar slogans and boo and cheer at all the usual punchlines.

And that they did. “Build the wall”. “Lock her up” and various boos whenever the media was mentioned.

And yes he talked about the “Witch Hunt” with all the usual lines of “no collusion, no obstruction.” (Interestingly, the audience didn’t join him in that chant. It seemed as if he expected them to.) And he attacked Democrats explicitly:

The Democrats don’t care about Russia. They only care about their own political power. They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees, almost everyone that I have ever known or worked with. But they are really going after you. That’s what it is it is all about. It’s not about us, it’s about you. They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election probably in the history of our country.

This was part of his prepared speech on the teleprompter and it was the one departure from his usual rally blather. He said more than once that the Democrats weren’t just trying to destroy him, they were trying to destroy his followers as well. That’s not something Trump says very comfortably because, in his mind, everything is about him. So I wouldn’t expect it to stick. But whoever wrote his speech was clearly trying to incite the crowd to see the coming political battle between Trump and the Democratic nominee as an attack on them.

I didn’t get the sense that the people in that audience really felt that. They were there to see their idol and were just anxiously waiting for the next call-and-response so they could participate in the program. But if the campaign continues with that approach it’s going to be even uglier than we expected.

Footnote: The city of Orlando required the Trump campaign to pay up front, as Trump is notorious for stiffing other cities because of his campaign.