Livestream: Trump launches 2020 reelection campaign in Orlando at 8 p.m. ET

Livestream: Trump launches 2020 reelection campaign in Orlando at 8 p.m. ET

Reports from inside the building are that the atmosphere is … Trumpy.

One Trump fan was lined up outside the arena with his lawn chair at 9 p.m. on Sunday night to try to ensure a front-row seat for this event. The arena seats 20,000 so the crowd should be yuuuuuge and festive, which usually means a lively Trump performance. Presumably he’ll preview some of the one-liners he’s working on for the Democratic debates. These things are half political rally, half stand-up comedy, after all.

The Orlando Sentinel, traditionally a Republican-leaning paper, greeted him today with its 2020 endorsement: Anyone But Trump. Well, not quite “anyone”: They might not endorse at all next year if Democrats nominate a dud, they say. But you get the point.

After 2½ years we’ve seen enough.

Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.

So many lies — from white lies to whoppers — told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity…

Trump insults political opponents and national heroes alike with middle-school taunts. He demonstrates no capacity for empathy or remorse. He misuses his office to punish opponents, as when he recently called for a boycott of AT&T to get even with his least favorite media outlet, CNN. He tears down institutions, once airily suggesting the U.S. should try having a leader for life as China now allows. He seems incapable of learning a lesson, telling an ABC interviewer last week — just two months after Robert Mueller’s report on election interference was released — that he would accept dirt on an opponent from Russia or China.

On and on it goes, even comparing Trump’s economic record unfavorably — to Obama’s. That’s where you separate the NeverTrump men from the NeverTrump boys, in pining for the relative glory days of Obamanomics.

As for choosing Orlando for tonight’s campaign launch, it’s a no-brainer. Florida’s the beefiest swing state in the country in terms of electoral votes, a de facto must-win for reelection, and it’s grown a redder shade of purple in the past few elections thanks to Trump, Rick Scott, and Ron DeSantis. Mar-a-Lago is there too, of course, as are many right-leaning Cuban-Americans who like Trump’s hawkishness towards Cuba and its proxy in Venezuela, the Maduro regime. He had to start in Florida. Although I bet western Pennsylvania will get a Trump rally of its own prettttttty soon.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on March 24, 2023