Trump Rally Flops Bigly
The President gave a delusional rant to a half-empty stadium thanks to some crazy kids.
While my wife and I were watching a 2016 stand-up special by Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che being promoted by Netflix, President Trump was addressing a sparse crowd in Tusla. It seems we made the right choice.
WaPo (“Trump rallies in red-state America — and faces a sea of empty blue seats“):
He threatened violence against protesters, endangered his supporters by flouting health recommendations and endured a 110-day, coronavirus-induced dry spell, but when President Trump finally stepped back onto his rally stage Saturday night in Tulsa, he saw a sea of blue seats.
The thousands of empty arena chairs, after his campaign had hyped overflow crowds and ticket requests totaling more than 1 million, symbolized the beleaguered state of Trump’s presidency and of his quest to win a second term.
To a nation broken by a pandemic and a recession — and with a racial justice movement roiling communities across the country — Trump offered neither reconciliation nor rapprochement.
Instead, he put up a fight.
Trump belittled the seriousness of the coronavirus, mocked heath experts and recalled, “I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down,’ ” because as more tests are conducted, more infections are discovered. And the president uttered a racially insensitive term in describing the “many” alternate names for the novel coronavirus that originated in China.
With cities coast to coast pulsating in protest of racial injustice, Trump used his bully pulpit to exacerbate the chaos and division in hopes of capitalizing on the nation’s fraying bonds. He condemned what he called “this cruel campaign of censorship” and, in reference to the debate over removing monuments and memorials to Confederate generals, declared: “They want to demolish our heritage. . . . We have a great heritage. We’re a great country.”
Trump’s rallies have long been singular events in U.S. politics, but rarely have so many currents charging through the country converged as they did Saturday at the BOK Center in Tulsa. The president’s appearance in Oklahoma, where coronavirus cases have surged and local officials have discouraged mass gatherings, was itself an act of defiance.
If Trump had settled on a new message for this relaunch phase of his campaign, it was difficult to discern. His 101-minute address was rambling and discordant, ranging from some of his favorite hits, such as attacks on CNN and the “fake news” to dark imagery about “Joe Biden’s America” as overrun by rioters and looters to a lengthy monologue explaining his slow and unsteady walk down a ramp and two-handed sip of water last weekend at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The president spun an alternate reality of the national crises over which he presides. In Trump’s telling, he has been the victim against dangerous villains old and new. He portrayed presumptive Democratic nominee Biden as a hapless captive to “the left-wing mob.”
Trump basked in the raucous, mask-free adulation of thousands of supporters, some of whom traveled long distances to take in the show, though the crowd filled about half of an arena that holds 19,000. The campaign built a second stage for Trump to address an expected overflow crowd of thousands, but with no attendees, the speech there was scrapped, and workers quickly got to dismantling the stage.
Apparently, the tiny crowd was at least partly the result of an epic social media “prank.”
NYT (“TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally“):
Brad Parscale, the chairman of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, posted on Twitter on Monday that the campaign had fielded more than one million ticket requests, but reporters at the event noted the attendance was lower than expected. The campaign also canceled planned events outside the rally for an anticipated overflow crowd that did not materialize.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s spokesman, said protesters stopped supporters from entering the rally, held at the BOK Center, which has a 19,000-seat capacity. Reporters present said there were few protests.
TikTok users and fans of Korean pop music groups claimed to have registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets for Trump’s campaign rally as a prank. After @TeamTrump tweeted asking supporters to register for free tickets using their phones on June 11, K-pop fan accounts began sharing the information with followers, encouraging them to register for the rally — and then not show.
The trend quickly spread on TikTok, where videos with millions of views instructed viewers to do the same, as CNN reported on Tuesday. “Oh no, I signed up for a Trump rally, and I can’t go,” one woman joked, along with a fake cough, in a TikTok posted on June 15.
Thousands of other users posted similar tweets and videos to TikTok that racked up millions of views. Representatives for TikTok did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” said the YouTuber Elijah Daniel, 26, who participated in the campaign. “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly. They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”
I’d seen a handful of references early in the week on Twitter to people signing up for the rally with no plans to attend but hadn’t anticipated that it would be such a widespread practice. One presumes campaign staffs will learn from this and figure out how to prevent this in the future. But an epic embarrassment for a President who enjoys crowing about his “ratings” and huge crowds.
These signups/”tickets” have more than one purpose. Yes, they’re supposed to provide some indication of interest and determine venue size, but of course they knew that the signups wouldn’t all show, as indicated by their choice of venue and overflow venue, 19K and 40K respectively.
The more vital purpose is database building. By collecting names, email addresses, and cell numbers, the campaign can solicit small-dollar donations, send emails about other events, and–perhaps most importantly, send out GOTV notices.
I’ll note here that although it costs money for the campaign to send SMS text messages, those are highly effective…if your data are good/valid.
The campaign now, apparently, has a ton of crap data. Unless they scanned in codes from “tickets” when people entered, they don’t know who was there. They also probably don’t have a means to separate out legit data from the K-pop data. They’ll either have to just do a match-back to see if they already had these people in their database and just trash the rest, or determine if it’s worth the expense to keep this much bad information in their database.
This is incredibly bad for them. Not just the optics, which of course looks dreadful–but any way you slice it, from the money spent on the overflow venue that wasn’t used to the money that will be sent to send push notifications to people who not only have no intention of voting for him but probably aren’t even old enough to…this is bad.
I truly wonder if Parscale is going to have a job in the next 24 hours.
Forbes reports that, according to the Tulsa fire marshal, the attendance at DonaldTrump’s rally last night was just under 6,200, less than a third of the arena’s capacity.
Conway: I’ve been to minor-league hockey games with better attendance.
Shouldn’t we now all get tickets to all of Trump’s rallies form now until the election?
Pwnd by K-popers and Tik-Tokers. LoL
A report last night mentioned that 500,000 had viewed the stream of the rally on YouTube. This seems like a small number to me, but I don’t have a point of reference to know if it is good, bad or indifferent. Anyone with insight on that.
Last week’s poll numbers opened the discussion as to whether Tiny’s base was beginning to crack. This maybe another indication that it is, though the activities of the K-pop/Tik-Tok folks obscure that somewhat. Probably the best indication that Tiny’s popularity has taken a serious hit is the cancellation of the outdoor event.
Beyond the optics of the empty seats, was all the empty rhetoric. Nothing on what he proposes to do with 4 more years. Just bile and they’re mean to me. If I were a rethug office holder or party activist, that is of concern. How will they explain that away?
Good morning James, please let me out of moderation. Thanks. I promise not to do it again, whatever I did. 🙂
@Kathy: My hunch is that they’ll get smarter and figure out how to limit. I’m not sure how, but they cannot afford another screw up like this.
I just read the NYT piece, and these kids are smart, they even deleted messages after 24 hours so that it wouldn’t leak out. It takes quite a bit to impress me, and I’m impressed.
The kids caused the Trump campaign to overhype the rally, but they don’t explain why so few people showed up.
Packing yourself into a stadium shoulder to shoulder with thousands of other people is a very stupid thing to do right now, and I suspect a lot of Trump fans weren’t quite that stupid.
Wait—do you think maybe the Trumpers believed ‘dang bertha we’re not gonna be able to get in, there’s a million people coming to this thing!’
103,000 people attend the super bowl, for comparison.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down please.”
Cult45 seems to be having a hard time coming up for excuses for this. Someone at Lucianne.com suggested that the visuals of empty seats were–what else?–Fake News. Someone else suggested that the Secret Service had gotten wind of an assassin and had cleared the venue. It must be very dispiriting to be a Trumpkin this morning.
The campaign is frantically claiming that Trump was only joking when he said that.
@Teve: I suspect the no-shows to be a combination of a few things: one, the vast majority of the respondents appear to be fake; two, I’m guessing that family members may have prevailed in the common sense department and talked at least some of those who intended to attend out of going; three, even road trips cost money, and with so many people out of work they might have reconsidered.
@Jen: good points.
@Jen: Given the grey hair of a lot of Trump’s supporters, I wonder if some of the younger members pulled out the big guns and threatened that Gramps and Grandma wouldn’t be allowed to see their grandkiddies for a full period of quarantine if they decided to head off to Tulsa.
I do like the large number of fake sign-ups by the K-pop people. Chortle.
Certainly. But all such measures, like limiting tickets per IP address, requiring valid email addresses, sending validation codes to real cell numbers via text, etc., 1) can be circumvented, and 2) depress participation by those really interested.
They could try charging $100 per ticket. That would kill all pranks.
@Kathy: $100??? That’s 5 weeks of fried bologna sammiches for these people!
@Kathy: My thought on this, as a former campaign person, is that I’d run the following queries on the database: those who have donated money, and those who consistently open emails and click rates. That’d be my list. Then, using the donation zip codes (this is required information so the campaign has it), I’d build out the regional list in the area surrounding where the event will be held.
I’d then use that as my target list and encourage each of those people to find 5 (or 10, whatever) friends and family to invite.
They need a clean list and there’s no way they are going to get that now with this story out there–they cannot go this route again, as it’s now “game on” as far as those who wish to ratf*ck the campaign are concerned.
This is where Parscale’s inexperience with actual partisan campaigning shows through.
I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this, or rather, how it will change things going forward.
Part of the reason they got so taken in by the fakes is that the Trump staffers are deep, deep into unskewed territory, believing that the polls are radically undercounting Trump supporters. This, though, can’t be argued with. Tulsa was chosen as the safest possible location to guarantee a full house and a decent size overflow. OK went for Trump by something like 30 points.
Do they cancel the remaining rallies? Reschedule them into much smaller venues?
Political leaders in Charlotte must be breathing a massive sigh of relief. I’m sure significant members of the business community must have been red hot over losing Trump’s big night. Now it seems pretty obvious that Jacksonville, which “benefited” from Charlotte’s loss, is going to have a huge security expense and very little business to show for it.
I would say the odds of Trump dropping out, while still very, very low, have just moved into the “not totally ridiculous category”. For those who are unfamiliar with Trump’s abysmal business career, each disaster always ended with Trump storming off so he could later claim he quit the other guys.
@MarkedMan: I read this morn that OK went for Trump by 36 points.
I don’t see trump dropping out, tho I very much see him just giving up.
There’s a good article in The Bulwark by Tim Miller, entitled “Make Arenas Empty Again.” In it Miller calls Trump “a weak and whiny D-List Rodney Dangerfield.”
I provided a link, but as usual that sent me to spam purgatory. So I call your attention to the article here.
Sounds more like incompetence mixed with inexperience.
Everyone knows doing a half-assed, easy job might work. But when it doesn’t, fixing it takes more time end effort than doing it conscientiously the first time.
The optics of this event put the stink of loser on Trump more effectively than anything available to the Biden campaign. Talk about an own goal.
Nothing bothers Trump more than loser optics. Apparently he spent around 10 minutes last night giving his most ardent supporters the alternate facts needed to explain away the loser optics of the awkward ramp walk and two-handed drink at his West Point appearance. Imagine the time and effort his people will have expend to craft the lies that will explain away this stink bomb.
Trump’s Twitter account has been silent for 11 hours. He must be insensate with rage over last night’s unparalleled disaster.
@CSK: Make Arenas Empty Again
ETA I must be getting the hang of this internet thingy.
Thank God Trump only hires the best! It is scary to think what would happen if he actually had good people in place, given that he still has 40% support despite running by far the worst presidential re-election campaign in my lifetime, having a candidate who has horribly bungled the two worst crises of his presidency, and having a candidate who can longer construct a basic sentence while speaking.
The malpractice of Parscale and his subordinates is stunning. That they did not scrub the million ticket requests would get you fired from any well-run company. I used to work for Nielsen and scrubbed data was the lifeblood of the survey part of the company. I was a financial analysts and I used to see the costs, both internal and external, of data scrubbing. Low level data scrubbing is actually quite cheap, and I suspect they could have eliminated the fake ticket problem by spending $100k.
I suspect that Parscale is just another grifter who is riding the Trump gravy train.
Another own-goal. His “explanation” was that the lying liberal media all stopped the video clip before his “10-foot sprint”. CNN reported on that explanation while showing the clip in its entirety, with the 3 slightly-faster steps at the very bottom of the ramp followed by a gentle stroll and standing still for a while… Believing this one would require either never viewing the video or “I won’t collect any more rent from Franz Mesmer” levels of brainwashing.
Thank you. When I post a link, I get muzzled by the filter, which on this site is pretty damn arbitrary.
He usually has several “explanations” for his various f*ck-ups. It’s called “throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.” I suppose his devotees just pick the explanation they like best.
The way Trump is obsessing about this West Point debacle is telling.
@senyordave: That’s the thing–if you surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear, you are quickly inundated by Bad Data and con-men. And since most people who end up in this position are inveterate narcissists (as Trump undoubtedly is), they never bother to double-check anything until everything comes crashing down on their heads.
Which is why I despise both Trump and the flunkies he surrounds himself with with the rage of a thousand white-hot suns. If enough people had told him he was full of sh*t earlier in his life, he might have learned to treat reality with more respect. As it now stands, gratifying Trump’s ego is the most important thing in his life and he couldn’t care less about reality.
@DrDaveT: Fun fact: errors made explaining the last bad thing that happened creates a new bad thing that has to be explained the next time. If you could connect a transformer to this kind of failure, you’d have a perpetual energy machine.
@CSK: It used to just outright ban any comment I’d make to the spam filter. I’d have to contact Doug or James to get them released every time. It got to the point where I’d just stop commenting for weeks at a time because I was tired of bothering them for what was most definitely not an earth shaking comment that nobody else in the entire universe would ever make.
Eventually (it took more than an on and off year or 2 I think) whatever the bug was, whether on my end or the servers, it straightened itself out. Thank Dawg.
This was a PR disaster of epic proportions. I’ve seldom enjoyed Saturday night TV more.
Props to the K-Pop Stans but they aren’t the reason no one showed up. Trump has Putin and the FSB, we have Tit-Tok kids and fans of Korean boy groups? That’s an almost too-perfect generational story. You got your KGB thugs? Well, we’ve got boys who wear make-up and sing!
I’ll admit I expected a whole ‘nother kind of disaster last night. A hundred thousand racists + black protesters + Tulsa? That’s not a good formula. Instead I think this will be the moment people will look back on as the turning point.
Someone – several someones most likely – will write books about last night. They’ll try to answer the question, ‘what broke Trump?’ Covid? The cratering economy? I suspect as trivial as it will seem in the history books, it was the preceding fiasco at West Point. He did not look like the world-bestriding alpha male cult leader making America great, he looked old and sick and weak.
I’m fascinated by paradigm-shifts, these sudden crystalizing moments. Dukakis in the tank. Muskie weeping (or not.) LBJ’s ‘I shall not seek….’ Ted Kennedy’s interview with Roger Mudd. Obama’s, ‘proceed….’
My advice for Trump is same as it has been for years now: Pardon, Resign, Flee. Because it is over for Il Donnie.
I’ve avoided watching the rallies, for the same reason that I avoid eating putrid lunch meat. We made a short exception last night, to see how big the crowd was. We tuned in during his extended, pointless, counter-productive riff on his war against ramps. It was emblematic of him: bilious, feckless, unnecessary.
I also wondered how many of the people behind him were hired for the occasion.
Ineptitude begets ineptitude. Shoddiness begets shoddiness.
Trump is a magical thinker and hates bad news. That trickles down to subordinates and their staff. It informs and affects not just what say, but what they spend their time on.
Bad leadership yields bad results. This, I know true having been assigned to multiple failed projects.
We have a new tool to facilitate rally ticket distribution. Does it work? Why the fuck would I care? I made my deliverable.
Again, the President of the United State is claiming that he intentionally slowed down testing and risked the health of his population.
So Trump supporters, are we supposed to take it literally or seriously that PoTUS says he was willing to sacrifice the American Population in the name of optics?
BTW, the term he used was one that Kelly Anne said was offensive and insensitive weeks ago… https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/488276-kellyanne-conway-says-its-highly-offensive-to-refer-to-coronavirus-as
The constant harping on 1 million+ tickets could have been a self-cannibalizing factor. One of the attractions of rallies are to be around like-minded individuals and demonstrate your support for a candidate. By overhyping the numbers, some supporters likely thought “eh, there are enough people going, I’ll wait for the rally that will happen closer to me and go to that one.”
That the campaign never really expected that many people (clearly they anticipated ~60K or so) makes this a self-own for the ages.
Yashar Ali makes a bunch of good points about attendance in this thread.
The TikTok stunt reminded me a little of the “Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf” stunt from 1998. Anyone remember that?
Basically, People Magazine ran an unscientific online poll that year for its “most beautiful people” list. This was around the time of the movie Titanic, and they were expecting Leonardo Di Caprio to top the list. In a prank started on a Howard Stern fan website and encouraged by Stern himself, the poll ended up being won by frequent Stern guest Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf (real name Henry Joseph Nasiff), with pro wrestler Ric Flair coming in second and Leo coming in a distant third.
My theory is it was the daily Covid-19 briefings.
People saw him in real time and witnessed what he is: an unprepared incapable braggart.
Yesterday was the day it became evident, but the damage was done in May.
Who knew that K-pop fans were capable of really sophisticated political rat-fucking? Kudos! We need to stop underestimating Gen Z.
Quite so. But to make it clear how, I’ll go with an example from work:
A coworker became ill during the workday and appeared to have COVID-19 symptoms. She went to the doctor, who diagnosed, as I heard, vertigo for some reason. Given the plethora of COVID-19 symptoms one sees sometimes, I guess that’s possible. In any case, that was when the department head decided we’d all get tested, including the sick coworker (who was feeling fine the next day).
All tests came back negative. the point is if that one ill coworker had tested positive, we could all have isolated for 14 days (maybe, as we had tons of work, and nothing must come before profit, right? Though most of it could be done at home easily), and watched out for symptoms.
Without a test, who knows. If she had been positive, which happens regardless of testing, then one or more of us could have been infected and spread the thing around presymptomatically for days.
EL PITO seems to believe an ill person does not have COVID-19 until they get tested. That if you pretend, or assume, it’s the flu, then it is the flu and there’s no need to make it dangerous by testing. If that’s not magical thinking, then there’s no such thing as magical thinking.
This is a point Biden needs to hit hard and often. Everyone who comes in contact with President is tested. Positive cases are traced. Everyone except him is masked. He is getting the COVID protection that he wants to deny to us. Nor is he alone on this. You know how when some celeb suggests taking away our guns, a million conservatives point out the hypocrisy of hearing that from someone surrounded by armed bodyguards? This is like that, only way way worse.
The “kung flu” bit is under-reported in my estimation.
Trump is desperate to find a boogeyman that sticks.
@de stijl: @mattbernius:
Also, the Peter Navarro appearance this morning. There is a coordinated effort.
I really wish folks wold stop comparing Trump to Rodney Dangerfield, who by many accounts that I read remained a likeable guy up until he passed away. If Rodney Dangerfield was a Conservative I honestly did not care because he was not 100% a-hole all the time.
Heck, Back To School is a classic comedy beloved by Liberals and Conservatives and one of a handful of comedies that my mother (who says she does not have much in the way of a sense of humor) loves (Spies Like Us is another comedy she likes) . She can care less about Airplane but would be willing to continue watching Back To School if it popped up on her TV.
Sorry for the thread drift folks, but Trump is no Rodney Dangerfield and if he was half the man Dangerfield was he would have had overflow crowds to deal with yesterday.
So if yesterday was supposed to be the beginning Of Trumps big comeback and a shot across the bow to Biden to watch out that Trump is still a contender to be reckoned with…um, yeah well, that did not happen. I think Liberals and Conservatives did see the beginning of the end yesterday. President Trumps “love” from the GOP base has always been more of the mile wide inch deep variety but even if you were his trusted advisor he would not believe you if you informed him of this fact.
NRO has an article dated June 20 that if Trump continues down this path Biden will be voted into the Oval Offie in November without ever having to have left his basement. Considering Biden is in the high risk age group I am sure he is fine with that.
McConnell needs to sober up and talk President Trump into stepping down, as Trump offers the GOP nothing but proof that he only brings hate and bile to the GOP platform.
Also, we saw just how musty and antiquated Trumps say something nasty to get the clicks and then declare he was just joking bit really is.
McConnell has a problem to deal with and while he will publicly continue to try to show his support by saying things like us Liberals have no sense of humor regarding the testing thing, now is when I wish I was a fly on the wall to know what is happening behind closed doors because I am sure some billionaire supporters of the GOP are seething after yesterday’s epic fail.
It shows how out of the touch the GOP is with today’s future potential GOP voters in that folks were dubious of the potential rally attendance numbers coming out of the White House/Trump campaign and folks tried to warn them they might be getting trolled (something the Trump campaign should easily be able to recognize…heh) but they kept reporting the more than one million people want to attend story anyway.
Anyway, yesterday could not have happened to a more deserving guy.
I agree. There’s no comparison. for one thing, Dangerfield made himself the butt of almost all his jokes, whereas Trump wouldn’t know a joke if it hit him in the head with a mallet.
Great comment from someone over at RawStory:
P.S. Long Live the teenybopper K-pop fans! (From someone who became a Pink Lady fan when in Japan.)
“Pardon, resign, flee.” Reading that made me wonder if, in fact, anyone has ever gone to Trump and suggested this, or strongly advised it the way Barry Goldwater, John Rhodes, and Hugh Scott did when they went to Richard Nixon and pointed out to him that he was, politically speaking, dead in the water. No. Of course this hasn’t happened with Trump.
I can’t imagine that some people in Congress haven’t fantasized about going to Trump and telling/asking/compelling him to quit. Pence would give them what they want, and be less embarrassing in the process.
Do you know how Dangerfield got his signature line? Apparently he overheard, at a club (I think), some low-level Mafioso fighting with a prostitute. The mob guy lost the argument and stomped off, muttering “Jesus Christ, even with hookers I don’t get no respect.” And thus a comic tradition was born.
I don’t think that’s true at all.
I just don’t think he cares whether people that aren’t him die. He just doesn’t want them to look bad for him while they die.
The denial of the seriousness of the pandemic fits that. No one is going to believe that their aunt, father or brother didn’t die on a ventilator — but they may well believe that their aunt, father or brother was one of the few unlucky ones, and that Trump has largely kept the country safe, but the media will never say that.
He’s a sloppy speaker. He conflates the testing numbers with the infected people because he doesn’t care about the infected people.
If he had the cause and effect backwards, he would be insisting people around him not be tested.
I viewed Miller’s reference to Tiny as Dangerfield as sarcastic and a play on Rodney’s, I don’t get any respect anymore shtick. Like Dangerfield in character, Tiny feels sorry for himself and believes he is being denied the credit/adulation he deserves.
Who really is? The other day I brought up the occasional comparisons I’ve seen between Trump and Rodney Dangerfield characters from some of his movies (which is very different than comparing Trump to Dangerfield the person). Even then, I wasn’t saying I agreed with the comparisons, just that it was a useful way of understanding how Trump’s fans see Trump.
The quote mentioned earlier in the thread referring to Trump as a “weak and whiny D-List Rodney Dangerfield” wasn’t really comparing him to Dangerfield, exactly, either. It’s kind of like a comment I once saw referring to Ann Coulter as a “sub-sub-Don Rickles.” In both cases, the emphasis is on the fact that they don’t measure up to those comedians. But it’s still a way of placing their shtick in context.
Over the past generation or so, a lot of right-wingers have acted essentially like insult comics, and Trump is just the latest example. Acknowledging that isn’t saying any of them are actually funny. But what people find funny has to do with their point of view, which is why most conservative attempts at “humor” are so baffling to anyone outside their bubble. A great deal of the brainwashing that goes on in right-wing media–the Limbaugh playbook, essentially–is aimed not just at making liberals into the enemy, but making liberals seem ridiculous. That’s why the resident right-wing trolls here are so impossible to get through to–no matter how reasonably you talk to them, they just respond with snark. Their purpose isn’t to engage in a discussion, it’s to point and laugh at us. You try talking sense to them, all they see is a laughable, blubbering clown, because they’ve been pre-programmed to see you that way no matter what you say.
@inhumans99: @Sleeping Dog: @Kylopod:
Just to add to the points Kylopod and Sleeping Dog have made, the fact that Miller referred to Trump as “a weak and whiny D-List Rodney Dangerfield” means that Miller is saying that Dangerfield wasn’t weak, nor whiny, and certainly not a D-Lister, all which Trump is. Trump is what Dangerfield would be IF he were those things.
1. This event will hurt Trump more than any of the other missteps/scandals/issues to date. Why? Because it goes to the heart of his self-created aura of a “winner”. NOTHING about last night said “winner”. In fact, it said the opposite. There are a fair number of people who were on the Trump train based on the idea that he was a tough guy owning the libs. Last night killed that delusion. Many left the Trump train last night at the Tulsa exit.
2. The optics of last night will be the gift that keeps on giving in terms of ads, memes, and GIFs. There are already memes floating on social media that are brutal, absolutely brutal. One particular video shows a panning shots of the empty seats with the voice overs of Trump, Kayleigh, and Kelly Anne talking up the expected crowd. It’s brutal in it’s simplicity. The message is not subtle. “Are you going to believe these people or your own eyes.”
3. This will be handled horribly by Trump. He and his team don’t know how to do humility. They could easily just say “Given the current pandemic, we were pleased that 6500 came out to see the President, despite the protests”. Had they not raised expectations so much, 6500 would have been an impressive number in a pandemic during a spike of cases. Trump is going to make it worse by overreacting – as he always done.
4. Expect more non-#Cult45 Trump supporters to abandon ship in the next week. I expect his poll numbers to get worse. No one likes a loser, and the campaign is looking like a losing proposition. Biden out raised Trump in May: $80.6M to $74M. Watch this advantage grow for June and July as big money donor slow down their support of Trump. Again, no one wants to bet on a sure loser.
Would you like to see a sad, angry and defeated Trump walking out of Marine One? Of course you would.
I’m surprised he was able to muster the energy for the thumbs-up gesture.
He tweeted “Happy Father’s Day!” an hour ago. Otherwise he’s maintaining radio silence on Twitter. No effusive thank yous to the Great State of Oklahoma for the fabulous, packed-to-the-rafters rally they held. No bragging about the yuge crowds that turned out to shower him with love and adoration.
It’s the bitch about playing strongman – you have to be strong.
Yep. A bunch of Trump’s money people are right now Googling ‘sunk costs fallacy.’
Another thing to watch is whether anyone in the GOP – it’d have to be someone not up for re-election – will start to realize they’re the orchestra on the Titanic. Will any of them have the courage to try and assert leadership of a post-Trump GOP?
The person or group that looked so defeated were the Atlanta Falcons after New England came back and beat them.
Couldn’t have happened to a better guy.
Much of the crowd seemed so disinterested, particularly the people who purposefully sat far away from the stage, that I wonder if a lot of them weren’t true Trump supporters, just looky-loos who wanted to see the train wreck for themselves. All you needed to do to blend in was buy a Trump shirt, or even just wear something red or with a flag on it, and paste on a smile.
Yeah, I said last night that the people sitting by themselves looked like they were at a sporting event where their team was losing, and most of the crowd had already left. That’s another thing that made me think that looky-loos were a significant percentage of the crowd.
I saw on Facebook purported ads on Craigslist looking for actors in Tulsa to play Trump supporters. I don’t vouch for it. Besides, it offered payment of $250, and that doesn’t sound at all like Trump or his campaign.
I suspect those Craiglist ads were fake.
The Tulsa rally fail bodes well for Jacksonville. The mayor and FL governor are touting the RNC Deathfest as an event as big as the Super Bowl. It’s not even going to approach those numbers. It probably won’t even match the crowds for the annual FL-GA football game. Especially since the body count in Florida is rising rapidly, and August is when those pesky hurricanes crop up.
The way 2020 is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the biggest hurricane in, like, a century forms that week, and barrels straight for Jax.
@CSK: cleared the venue, but figured the 6200 or so people who remained were fair game?
Slate transcribed the portion of Trump’s speech where he talks about what happened at West Point. You have to read it to believe it.
Probably the most offensive and discordant part of Trump’s long riff about his visit to West Point was the complaining about saluting. His elbow got tired, and he had to stand in the hot sun for a while.
He was saluting young people whose careers in the military might involve combat deployments that lead to unimaginable hardship and death. They were summoned to this graduation ceremony because Trump demanded that they be there, in spite of the coronavirus risks to themselves and family members.
And he complained about his elbow.
Meanwhile, across the country, American are struggling with the effects of the coronavirus. Millions have lost their jobs or their businesses, with all the consequent hardship (homes, health care, future ambitions) that hidden behind the phrase, “economic damage.” Many of them are sick, or were sick, and live with the physical aftereffects. Some are on respirators. Some have died, or will die.
And he complained about his elbow.
@Nightcrawler: You should not get over happy. The Yasher Ali comments on Twitter are useful: https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1274547238715318272 – they won’t make such obvious errors again and likely will over-perform low expectations on their next round.
@inhumans99: I know this was probably just a typo, but when you capitalized Of Trumps in your fourth paragraph, my mind immediately went to The Handmaid’s Tale, where the handmaids are all called “Of [name of man who owns them].” So are Trump’s supporters his handmaids, starting to try to break free?
I realize that makes no sense, but the vast majority of excuses culties make for Trump do not, in fact, make any sense whatsoever.
@Gustopher: Yup. I saw an interview with an unmasked rally attendee on Twitter, who said, “I know that this thing is real, because my friend died and his son ended up on a ventilator. But I think the other side is just trying to make this thing seem as bad as it is.”
One reply Tweet said, “I know that I just saw my friend get eaten by an alligator in the lake, but how do I really know there are alligators in there?”
That only goes to their hyped expectations. Does not explain how he failed to get more than a third of the place filled and the complete absence of an overflow crowd. Pink tweeted that she sold the place out in about 15 minutes.
I’ll bet attendance will have some highs but continue a downward trend. I think the bubble has popped. K-popped, heh, get it? (Sorry.)
@Lounsbury: Because this administration is totally great at learning from their own mistakes. Right?
All this brouhaha and not one single mention that The Almighty weighed in with an opinion of Mr Trump. There was an earthquake in OK that night. Almost biblical, eh?
Of course it hasn’t. Where ya gonna find a Goldwater, Rhodes, or Scott in the current Republican Senate? You have to believe in something other than “vote fur meeee!” in order to do what they did back then. Do none of the current crop of imbeciles have
scriptwriters people who do their thinking for themthe skills necessary to explain why they want to get rid of an incompetent boob in order to get a competent replacement? Are they really that feckless?
@Lounsbury: “they won’t make such obvious errors again and likely will over-perform low expectations on their next round”
Because if there’s one thing we know about the Trump administration and campaign is that they learn from their mistakes!!!!!
@Michael Reynolds: “Does not explain how he failed to get more than a third of the place filled and the complete absence of an overflow crowd. ”
That’s the big flashing red light. 19,000 is not that many people. It’s 2,000 less than Madison Square Garden, and Billy Joel fills that arena as many times a year as he feels like playing. U2 packed it for days in a row.
And yes, these are real rock stars — but that’s the kind of devotion that Trump has long claimed. And U2 tickets started around a couple hundred bucks — this way free.
Trump made his first rally appearance in months in one of the country’s reddest states, and they couldn’t give away a fraction of the seats a 71 year-old former pop star who hasn’t released an album of original songs in decades charges hundreds of dollars for.
Right now he’s at the “Stonehenge” stage of Spinal Tap’s career. I suspect he’ll be playing state fairs by the end of the summer…
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
You would think that they could see that dumping Trump would, ultimately, be in their own best interests. Yes, I understand that they fear the retaliation of Cult45, but they might garner enough support from Independents to make up for that, or at least counterbalance it.
@Gustopher: Well, he was right about it being amazing, at least. 😛
Nah, the money people don’t need to Google it. They understand sunk costs just fine. It’s people like my mom (God rest her soul) who would need to look it up. But mostly, she was a send $10-type contributer to political causes, so she mostly paid mailing costs and profit margin.
It wasn’t just k-pop stans and tiktok teens, there was a lot on planned no-show ticket requesting in my social media circle. But the stans and teens are clever in figuring out the algorithms, and we should all learn the basics. We millennials and older tend to consume our social media more passively, where the younger ones are actively manipulating it to see specific results. This is not the first time the k-pop stans have manipulated for good.
@CSK: Even if they’re afraid of the backlash, Mitch is 78 years old. I’m 10 years younger, and several orders of magnitude less affluent, and I’m completely out of GAFs about what other people think. His ego should be pretty bulletproof by his age. Low. Life. Weenie.
The true tell from last night isn’t the arena attendance, that can be explained away by the Tik-Tokers, but that only hundreds (maybe dozens) showed up for the outside speeches.
I bet Parscale is coming up with all these explanations about how all the seats in the auditorium were in fact full and it was just those lyin’ reporters who were making up all those empty seats….oh, and the BLN people were obviously keeping the millions of Trump supporter hordes from entering the arena and Trump’s supporters were too polite to complain….Trump and his minions are desperate to believe this (ego being more important than reality) but Javanka are PISSED.
So the next question is–if Parscale gets the chop, are they going to replace him with someone who falls even more in the Person Who Tells Trump What He Wants To Hear category, or will they hire someone with some actual ability?
Javanka are worried about going to jail.
I’d be surprised if anyone with any actual campaign talent would take this on. Lewandowski is probably waiting in the wings, but I don’t really think he’s that talented politically. It depends on what the burn rate is for resources, I would think. Most people don’t want to be associated with a losing campaign, but would take on the project if they think they can at least have a shot at losing respectably (e.g., not a blowout and not losing the Senate too). There’s a reasonable amount of time between now and the election, but a campaign manager needs to have these questions answered:
Question 1: Will I be listened to and my instructions followed?
Question 2: Can I expect the President to back me up in cases where my expertise dictates something different than what family members think?
If the answer to either question is no, run the other way.
I believe that a whopping 2 dozen people showed up to hear the outdoor speech for which the Trump campaign had projected attendance of 40-60,000.
Didn’t Ivanka demand that Lewandowsky be fired, or she’d leave? The Trump campaign really doesn’t have too many options, does it?
Exactly, and we all know the answer to both questions is ‘no’, has always been ‘no’ and will continue to be ‘no’ so long at this toddler is the candidate. Anyone who takes this on has some serious debt to leg-breakers and is desperate for money. No one with expertise wants a piece of this. The old adage adapted from Wall Street: never try to catch a falling knife.
Watch the money over the next cycle. That will tell the tale.
Trying to limit anything via IP address is almost always a terrible idea. There are MANY reasons why you will see large numbers of people using the same IP. Some ISP’s use NAT gateways for their entire userbase so the IP you see is the same. Then there’s condos/apartments/dormitories where whole buildings or complexes of families might be put under a singular IP for internet access.
Meanwhile I can swap through 30+ IPs in about 30 seconds total.
IT doesn’t matter anyway because it’s first come first show. So the people signing up and not showing aren’t forcing out people who wanted to go.
@Sleeping Dog: unless that was reserved seating (it does not seem to be thee case) the only impact of the faux tickets reservation was in the sense of large crowds potential which perhaps saw some people decide to give it a miss for fear of crowding, and laziness on Trump campaign part in not flogging the potential attendees to ensure attendance.
@Michael Reynolds: I didn’t say otherwise, however the commentariat here are getting overhappy and this is symptomatic of Dems /opposition over-interpretation. It will almost inevitably be over-done such that his next event will seem like a comeback.
Yes there is real decline, but very easy as many are doing out of happy anticipation to predict demise. (and then when it doesn’t occur go into typical Lefty high dungeon and sky-is-falling mode)
Blood is in the water though, that is without doubt and I do think the sharks will now circle. Just do not get too happy too fast.
But for a cursory “Happy Father’s Day,” Trump hasn’t tweeted in 19 hours. Is that some sort of record for him?
I wonder if he had to be sedated after last night’s debacle.
Trump should take over his own campaign. He’s smarter than all the campaign managers put together anyway. And if he faces any tricky problems, he can consult with himself because he’s so smart.
What could possibly go wrong?
The whole million people thing was ridiculous- Tulsa has around 400,000 and no one is going to drive hours to be in an enclosed space for hours after self-quaranting for months. More crucially, it created implausible expectations and expectations is a huge part of politics: but they always go for the quick headline, don’t they?
Okay, Cult45 has found a narrative. To wit: The Tulsa rally was a yuge success because 6,725,923 people watched it online! And the reason only thousands of people showed up in Tulsa is that they feared the depredations of Antifa thugs and BLM thugs. (That 6 million+ number has magically grown from 500,00 this morning.)
That’s their story and they’re sticking to it. Maybe they should tell Lardass. He’s still in a rage about what a mega-flopperoo the rally was.
Not everyone who works for a campaign is a volunteer true believer and zealot. Campaigns have to hire people to provide services. Often they are hiring a company, and that company most definitely will have people involved who are not only non-believers in the cause, but perhaps even firmly opposed to the candidate or the cause. I can’t help but imagine that many of the people behind the IT team responsible for things like event registration are not exactly giving their best. Unless they are specifically told to come up with systems to properly verify who is asking for tickets to ensure they aren’t fake, they may not provide that kind of common sense precaution. I wouldn’t be surprised that some of those people on the inside are actually doing what they can to sabotage whatever they can while covering their tracks in a way the amateurs won’t understand.
I wish all of them the best of luck in their endeavor!
Ack, such a wet blanket…if anything, the opposite is the case as Democrats often get too cautious about their opposition and are afraid to go too far…in the end, November is shaping up to be a humiliation for Trump and Republicans that will make what Obama did to him at that White House Correspondent’s Dinner seem like nothing, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person and a more deserving political party…
@Jen: So basically the answer is run the other way. Good to know. But not surprising, all in all.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: There are undoubtedly some True Believers who might take on the challenge. There are also probably a few who are almost as narcissistic as the President who think that the Electoral College path is doable, and that only they are talented enough to find the right line to pull through this.
The problem is Trump, of course. He doesn’t trust anyone beyond this small inner circle of people who have no real experience in campaigning. Anyone who would be qualified to do this work (and willing to) probably worked on other campaigns, and that will make him/her suspect.
I think the only potential possibility would be Kellyanne Conway and I wonder what her status is in the White House given her husband’s role in The Lincoln Project.
@Lounsbury: “Blood is in the water though, that is without doubt and I do think the sharks will now circle. Just do not get too happy too fast.”
This may be the ultimate Lounsbury post: “What you are saying is exactly right, but you are all idiots for saying it.”
@wr: Would you prefer:
@Tim: Given Trump’s tendency to not pay his contractors, I’d also insist that the money for any such project be placed in escrow in the hands of an independent third party with the authority to release it to me before I did a lick of work.
I suspect that the City of Charlotte is breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t be hosting the RNC convention. For all the supposed economic benefit such a convention brings in to local tradesmen in the area, chances are high that the city itself would be stuck with the bill for providing security and rent of the convention centre. Trump still hasn’t completely paid for activities of the 2016 election.
I don’t, for the life of me, understand how George and Kellyanne can occupy the same zip code, let alone the same house, even if it’s a big one (and it is). The only possible way they could stay together is if one of them is faking it. I don’t think George is faking his hatred of Trump. That leaves Kellyanne. But I don’t think she’s faking her devotion to Trump.
The Conways have four young children. If their home atmosphere is as poisonous as I suspect it is, how awful for those kids.
I don’t claim to know for sure what the full story is, and I wouldn’t begin even trying to speculate about the future of their marriage. But it isn’t hard to guess how the situation came about. They’re both long-time Republican operatives. I don’t think either of them anticipated they’d ever end up on separate sides like this. It isn’t like Matalin-Carville–a marriage where both went in knowing they had political differences, and obviously found a way to deal with them early on. (And keep in mind that Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush themselves eventually became personal friends, so even though there was a difference of party and ideology, it was not an unbridgeable divide in terms of personal relationships.) The first time I ever heard of Kellyanne was in 2008. She was one of the few pollsters claiming McCain was going to win even after the Wall Street crash. In other words, she’s always been a hack. But the thing about hacks is that they mold themselves to whatever environment they’re in. In the pre-Trump era, she seemed like a typical pre-Trump Republican. When she started working for Trump, she easily became the lying propagandist for an authoritarian strongman. What was new wasn’t her being a lying propagandist, but who it was in service of. That was apparently too much for George, but it’s possible to understand why he never realized she had that capacity before, since even though she may have always been unprincipled, it had previously seemed relatively benign based on who she had backed before.
They could be playing roles, of course. Maybe she’s acting as a sort of double agent, or thinks she is. (Maybe she’s the “Anonymous” who wrote that supposedly anti-Trump column. I’ve run across that theory before.) Or maybe he’s latching onto the Never-Trump movement because he sees it as convenient for his purposes. Maybe they both have some private agreement that allows them to take these opposing roles in public. Who knows? For the time being, though, I’m inclined to take their differences at face value and to offer the above explanation.
@CSK: I’m not as inclined to see her as “devot[ed]” to Trump as much as she is a person who has taken a job that calls for particular skill sets that she has. There’s a sort of amorality that goes with the arena in which she has placed herself, and she may simply be good at separating her career from her real life. I’ve done that at times in situations that I found myself in.
As much as I’ve been enjoying the last couple days (my wife and I can make each other laugh just by shouting “6200!”) I’d be careful about reading too much into it when it comes to enthusiasm for Trump. I suspect between the virus and their own hype (a million tickets, people camping out days early) that a whole lot of supporters decided they had no chance of getting in and stayed home.
Yes, I’m sure TikTok and pranks inflated the interest. But contrary to what I’m seeing here Parscale is not an idiot when it comes to online behavior (political behavior is another question). He’s the guy that Google pointed out ran the most effective campaign on their site they’d ever seen in 2016. And apparently they did scrub their data simply by combining it with known donors and identifying and discounting people responding to the campaign for the first time. I think his mistake was in letting the raw rumbers run as a political stunt and for Trump to brag about. And then compounded the mistake by trumpeting (pun intended) all the people camping out days early. They accidentally convinced their own supporters it would be so crowded that they didn’t show up!
It’s still funny as bleep. I haven’t been this cheerful in months.
@Kylopod: @Just nutha ignint cracker:
You both offer plausible explanations. That Kellyanne has completely divorced her professional from her personal life would account for why the Conways haven’t separated or ended the marriage.
@CSK: It’s also a way to income-proof the marriage.
Both of them know that after this sh!t show is over, they’ll need to be able to earn money. Kellyanne’s path to earning is going to be narrow–there are only so many slots for pro-Trump hacks in the long run, especially if he loses horribly (a narrow defeat will mean the window opens up a bit more). George can regroup and go to work for any number of places.
It really depends on what a post-Trump Republican party looks like, but this looks to me to be political employment arbitrage.