US election: Trump tots, Trump Force One and Trump policy making. An afternoon at a Trump rally.
PUBLISHED: 17:03 07 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:03 07 November 2016
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Political editor Annabelle Dickson writes about her afternoon at a rally for US presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
“It’s not about ovaries in the Oval Office. It’s about who has the balls to build a wall”.
So say Diamond and Silk – the dynamic duo social media sensations who were part of Donald Trump’s Ohio rally warm up team (they are worth a Google).
The gathering in a vast hanger on the edge of an airpark in a remote part of rust belt America could not have been more of contrast to events on the other side of the closely contested state where superstar rapper Jay-Z and his wife and singer Beyonce were preparing for a gig in Trump-rival Hillary Clinton’s honour.
When it comes to elections, the Americans don’t do understated.
Trump supporters started flooding into Wilmington two hours before the doors of the shed were thrown open and the ostentatious, attention-seeking businessman touched down, parking a massive jet (a similar size to the one I had used to traverse the Atlantic days before) within metres of his adoring fans.
His 45 minute tirade was pretty predictable. Anyone following the election will have heard it all before.
He will build a wall, he will make America great again and Hillary Clinton is crooked.
“Lock her up, Lock her up, Lock her up” the crowd chanted. They had been desperate to holler the now infamous catchphrase since they had arrived . Those who had come prepared with posters rose them aloft in delight.
When a Trump tot started crying, a nearby supporter told her not to worry. “Hillary will be locked up soon” .
I’m still not sure if Trump supporters do irony.
My expectation was that I would mainly be surrounded by angry middle-aged white men when I went to see “The Donald” in action.
Not so. Fifty-seven year old Debbie has come on her own – her husband was working, 56-year-old Barb Peabody had brought her 15-year-old daughter Oliva and teenage friend Emma for the evening; and friends Candice and Brittany – 33 and 28 respectively – were on a girls evening out.
When it came to age, there was no stereotype.
Three generations of Woods were there. Michael and Janel wearing matching “Deplorable Me” T-shirts in defiance at the label they had been given by the Clinton camp - had brought their 13-year-old and two-year-old daughters. Their parents had come too.
They listened avidly to Donald Trump’s usual stream of consciousness.
The most extraordinary moment came when he appeared to have a policy change on the stage.
He announced that instead of spending money on preventing global warming, he would invest in Interstate 71 – Ohio’s equivalent of the A11.
After getting little enthusiasm from the crowd who were more interested in Clinton bashing, he announced “Let’s not do it”. “Let’s save the money and replace the Bred Spence Bridge in Cincinnati – You like that?
A rather puzzled crowd decided they had better cheer.
He warmed to the idea.
“You know we should do that, before we do a project have a big rally, how do you like doing the interstate? People go uhh. How do you like doing the bridge? Oh we love it. It’s not a bad way actually.”
So, that’s it. If Donald Trump claims the White House on Tuesday, we can expect many more rallies to come.
This is what will happen in the new era of post-establishment politics The Donald promises.