Tuesday, November 28, 2023

It's the Fans, Stupid

Yesterday I wrote Trump seemed "more the show biz impresario than the CEO which he also is." Writing at Slate, Ben Jacobs observes that Trump rallies aren't even much about politics, they more closely resemble concert gigs. 

Jacobs interviews several attendees at a rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Most have attended several of his rallies, bought merchandise, waited in long lines to get in, the whole "fan" shtick.

He’s turned his campaign events into something that has more in common with a Bruce Springsteen concert than a Harry Truman whistle-stop tour.

Even when Trump’s political fortunes were at their lowest ebb after he left office, he still had a base devoted to him, not so much for his politics but for his personality and what that personality represents.

For all the efforts of his rivals to displace him from the lead, all the television ads devoted to touting their virtues, and the constant stream of court cases and legal documents outlining Trump’s failings, he has one advantage they just can’t touch.

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley have partisans. Donald Trump has fans.

Less enamored members of the press who've attended several agree he mostly does a medley of his "greatest hits," with some local color added. Fans who've attended several Trump rallies accept these just as Rolling Stones fans accept one more rendition of "Satisfaction." Hat tip to "Ragin' Cajun" James Carville for the title.