It's a beautiful Father's Day morning in Tidewater Virginia and, if that's not enough reason to smile, there's another bonus to make one smile: Trump's Tulsa rally fizzled with the venue 1/3 empty and the "overflow" almost virtually empty - Trump and Pence did not even appear there given the lack of attendees. I would not want to be a Trump campaign staffer this morning as I suspect Der Trumpenführer will be exceedingly unhappy even as he lies about the crowd size despite the photographic evidence. As for the racists, troglodytes and misogynists who did attend the rally, based on photos few wore masks or social distanced, so in the next two weeks we will see if Darwin's theory comes into play. A piece in the New York Times looks at last night's batshitery filled event. Here are highlights:
PresidentTrump’s attempt to revive his re-election campaign sputtered badly on Saturday night as he traveled to Tulsa for his first mass rally in months and found a far smaller crowd than his aides had promised him, then delivered a disjointed speech that did not address the multiple crises facing the nation or scandals battering him in Washington.
The weakness of Mr. Trump’s drawing power and political skills, in a state that voted for him overwhelmingly and in a format that he favors, raised new questions about his electoral prospects for a second term at a time when his poll numbers were already falling. And rather than speak to the wide cross-section of Americans who say they are concerned about police violence and systemic racism, he continued to use racist language, describing the coronavirus as “Kung Flu.”
[T]he 19,000-seat BOK Center was at least one-third empty during the rally. A second, outdoor venue was so sparsely attended that he and Vice President Mike Pence both canceled appearances there.
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, falsely blamed the small numbers on “radical protesters” and the news media who he said had frightened away supporters. But there were few protests in the area and no sizable effort to block entrances, and there was a strong security presence.
Mr. Trump was furious about the unused outdoor stage and the comparatively thin crowd in the stadium, according to two people familiar with his reaction. News broadcasts carried video of the partially empty stadium, and even the Drudge Report, a reliably conservative website, carried an all-caps headline that said “MAGA LESS MEGA” with a picture of rows and rows of empty blue seats.
The disappointing turnout came as Mr. Trump already found himself under siege about his sudden firing of the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and his losing legal battle over the release of a memoir full of damaging revelations by John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser.
In rambling, grievance-filled remarks, Mr. Trump made no reference to the Tulsa massacre of 1921 or to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis last month spurred global demands for racial justice. He also did not mention Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States and fell just a day before his rally.
the presidentrailed about “left-wing radicals” who he falsely claimed were rioting in cities across the country and praised police officers who “get injured, they don’t complain. They’re incredible” while attempting to stop looters and rioters.
The presidentonce again shrugged off the threat from the coronavirus, which he also called the “Chinese virus” at one point, and bragged that he has done “a phenomenal job” fighting the pandemic. He acknowledged that increased testing for the virus revealed more cases of infection, which he felt made the country look bad.
“So I said to my people, ‘slow the testing down,’” he said.
Many of the thousands of Trump supporters at the rally did not wear masks or stand six feet apart — health precautions that Mr. Trump himself has ignored.
After the rally, Mr. Trump’s spokesman searched for a way that Mr. Trump might be happy despite the poor turnout, claiming in a statement that millions of online rally viewers amounted to “a massive audience that Joe Biden can only dream of.”