President Donald Trump successfully trolled Democrats once again Monday — hosting a packed rally the night before their New Hampshire primary election and successfully directing attention and energy away from Democratic campaigners desperate to interest voters.
The near-overflowing arena at Southern New Hampshire University stood in stark contrast to the sparsely attended campaign trail events put on just around the corner by Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, and the rest of the Democratic field.
Bernie Sanders may have a rabid online fan base, but how many would camp out all night and day in the frigid February snow for a chance to see their political hero? Warren couldn’t even get hungry diners to glance up from their meals long enough to ask for their vote.
‘I LOVE Trump,’ a concession stand worker said enthusiastically as she doled out chicken tenders and fries to the hundreds of people lined up for food and drink. Attendees danced and sang along to classic rock anthems by Billy Joel and Elton John for hours before the president’s speech, putting Mayor Pete Buttigieg team’s ‘High Hopes’ dance to shame.
‘We have never had an empty seat from the day your future first lady and I came down the escalator,’ Trump said at the start of his speech, poking fun at the Democratic candidates relatively small crowds throughout the state. ‘We have so much more enthusiasm it’s not even close’.
Trump hinted at the Democrats’ enthusiasm gap in a Monday tweet, calling the New Hampshire primary a ‘really boring deal’. And while the Iowa caucus may have been more exciting, it was only because of a complete failure by the Iowa Democratic party to properly certify results.
‘Chaos is good, but boring is good too because it shows a lack of enthusiasm for the entire Democrat field. They haven’t shown they’re able to do anything competently in this whole process so far,’ Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told The Spectator.
The president concurred, telling the crowd, ‘The Democrats want to run your healthcare but they can’t even run a caucus in Iowa’.
Monday night’s rally showed the campaign’s willingness to capitalize on the errors of its opponents.
The president hit Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ‘mumbling’ behind him during last week’s State of the Union address and described the impeachment ‘hoax’ as having ‘completely failed and utterly backfired.’ Pelosi indeed miscalculated when she tore up Trump’s SOTU address, as pro-Trumpers quickly edited a video showing Pelosi ripping the speech as the president honored military heroes. And as the president escaped from impeachment without a Senate conviction, his approval rating hit its highest level at any point in his presidency.
‘We have the highest poll numbers we’ve ever had — thank you, Nancy, very much,’ Trump said.
In true Trumpian fashion, the president displayed a level of overconfidence against his potential Democratic opponents. Trump and his campaign officials have routinely dismissed the entire Democratic field as radical socialists, pointing to Medicare-for-All, Green New Deal-esque climate plans, and the now infamous clip of candidates raising their hands when asked if they would provide free health insurance for illegal immigrants.
‘Who is their weakest candidate? I think they’re all weak,’ Trump said, prompting laughter and cheers from the SNHU Arena crowd.
The campaign has not indicated how cries of socialism will play on a moderate like Amy Klobuchar, who has risen in the polls in recent weeks. She notably resisted the party’s shift to the left and went after her primary opponents for their ‘pie in the sky’ ideas. Even Joe Biden is a stretch — Vice President Mike Pence once justified the message by accusing the Democratic party of ‘advocating a socialist agenda of more government, higher taxes and the same tired policies that created the malaise of the last administration where you saw less than 2 percent economic growth’.
Political messaging aside, the president’s rally proved a well-timed distraction from his opponents who wanted nothing more than to hog the spotlight this week. No one plays the political media game quite like Trump.