A report from the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Robert Costa suggested that Donald Trump likely failed in his attempt to halt his slide in the polls with his “defiant” speech at a poorly-attended rally in Tulsa on Saturday night.
With critics both mocking the turnout and calling the overly-hyped event a “disaster,” the reporters note that the president went before the crowd trying to shore up his image as the commander in chief at a time when his re-election prospects are increasingly looking in doubt.
“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,” their report began. “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.”
While Trump hit all of his usual marks, with racist appeals to his base and attacking the media, the report notes that Trump’s old magic is not working anymore.
“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,” they reported.
Calling the speech at BOK Center in Tulsa an “act of defiance,” the journalists added, “Trump’s performance masked a presidency in peril. This past week alone, the Supreme Court twice stymied Trump’s administration, including on one of its signature immigration policies. His former national security adviser alleged that he sought help with his reelection campaign from Chinese President Xi Jinping. His firing of a U.S. attorney who had been investigating his associates drew loud condemnations.”
According to one anonymous source in the White House, the rally was also designed to give the president a chance to get out and in front of raucous crowds (“The president is going stir-crazy”) but may have instead blown up in his face as Republicans weigh abandoning the president.
“It’s a terrible situation,” explained a Republican strategist who noted GOP lawmakers are in no hurry to have their picture taken with Trump. “If you’re onstage in a MAGA hat smiling wide, the Democrats will make it an ad in a second.”
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Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital
The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.
The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."
Trump’s push to reopen schools prematurely is an assault on states’ rights that may prove deadly
It’s hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu as the Trump regime threatens to withhold federal education funding from states that refuse to re-open their schools this fall. The contours of the “debate,” such as it is, perfectly align with the one we had a couple of months ago about re-opening businesses in the midst of a pandemic.
Then, as now, conservatives tried to frame the issue as a choice between re-opening and staying stuck in quarantine indefinitely. Those less moored to reality, including the President, insisted that proponents of quarantines were only motivated by a desire to undermine Trump’s prospects for re-election. The real divide at the time was between those of us who wanted to follow the science, build up adequate testing and contact-tracing capacity and re-open safely once the rate of infection had declined, and those, mostly on the right, who wanted to re-open prematurely either because they believed we’d achieve herd immunity if we let the outbreak run its course or because they thought Covid-19 was a “hoax” that was no more serious than the seasonal flu.
How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months
Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was "shocked" when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.
This article first appeared in Salon.