There was a very enthusiastic Trump supporter sitting behind the president last night during his town hall event on NBC. It was impossible not to notice her because every time President Trump spoke, she nodded her head in agreement. Every time. Her placement behind the president soon became fodder for Never Trumpers looking for a conspiracy.
She is being called the nodding lady. Her name is Mayra Joli and she could be seen just behind President Trump’s left shoulder. She is receiving her fifteen minutes of fame now, in part, thanks to demands from some Never Trumpers that their willing cohorts in the press expose her. Mayra is pretty good at self-promotion, too. She posted a Facebook Live video after the debate as she interacted with Trump, along with other audience members.
The winner of the contest to identify the nodding woman is Alex Daugherty, a reporter for the Miami Herald. Mayra is a 55-year-old immigration lawyer and former congressional candidate.
— Alex Daugherty (@alextdaugherty) October 16, 2020
Here's the story. She posted a video with Trump after the event. No comment yet from NBC on how attendees were vetted https://t.co/1buoNrmHym
— Alex Daugherty (@alextdaugherty) October 16, 2020
The usual angry reactions from the perpetually outraged were on display on social media. How could she be allowed to participate in the town hall, which was touted as an event for undecided voters? Some questioned the vetting process for the audience members. The audience members were a mix of Trump supporters, Biden supporters, and allegedly Independent voters who are still undecided. Spare me the outrage for this Trump supporter’s presence. Mayra is a former Democrat who ran as an Independent candidate and now is a Trump Republican.
According to her Facebook page, Joli is a native of Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Joli says that she now lives in Coral Gables, Florida, five miles west of Miami, where the NBC town hall took place.
On Joli’s official congressional Facebook page, she uses a quote in her about section that reads, “Be the light from which the world is lit.” At the time of writing, Joli’s congressional website has been disabled.
Joli describes her political beliefs on her Twitter page as being Republican-affiliated and “always conservative.” Joli says that she is a “former Democrat.”
In 2018, Joli ran for the retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Miami congressional seat. Joli ran as an independent and won 2.5 percent of the vote. The election was eventually won by Democrat Donna Shalala.
She specializes in immigration law, specifically “in detention and removal proceedings.” She also has participated in beauty pageants, including a win in the Mrs. Coral Gables beauty pageant in 2015. She aligns herself with President Trump, including the fact that like Trump, she doesn’t drink.
When Trump asked her where she was from, Mayra said the Dominican Republic and she’s an American now. Trump brought up baseball legend Sammy Sosa and she told him that Sosa endorsed her congressional campaign in 2018. “Hey, Sammy Sosa?” Trump said, referring to the Dominican-born former Chicago Cubs baseball player while mimicking a baseball swing.
Never Trumpers were hot to expose the Trump supporter. Tom Nichols tweeted out: ‘Journalists, if you don’t find out who that woman is nodding behind Trump at an ‘undecided’ voter town hall, then I don’t know what you’re getting paid for’. I’d show you the tweet but he blocked me a long time ago. A self-described comedian and writer who claims to be blocked by Trump sees a conspiracy at play. She re-tweets The Lincoln Project’s tweets.
‘This woman is nodding at things before he’s even finished his thought. It’s a psychological trick and I cannot believe no producer, no camera person, NO ONE is stopping it’
Sarah Cooper, a writer and comedian, wondered ‘how much can I get paid to sit behind Trump and nod at everything he says.’
‘This woman is nodding at things before he’s even finished his thought. It’s a psychological trick and I cannot believe no producer, no camera person, NO ONE is stopping it.’
What was to stop the woman from nodding? She wasn’t in a court of law with an order to not show an emotional reaction to a verdict. She was participating in a town hall, though that is a loose description of the event. It wasn’t a true town hall. Savannah Guthrie is not an impartial observer of the election. Here’s a little information – her husband was traveling chief of staff for Al Gore, back in the day. She inserted herself over and over again, aggressively turning herself into Trump’s debating opponent, not a moderator. Joe Biden didn’t show up to debate Trump, Savannah Guthrie did. Mayra wasn’t making noise, she was just visible due to her position in the audience. Does Sarah Cooper really think NBC wants voters to see enthusiastic Trump supporters? The networks are working overtime to assure a Biden victory in November.
President Trump did well during the town hall. He battled Savannah Guthrie without losing his temper or raising his voice. He got in some zingers by telling her he knew she would behave as she was doing and that NBC is part of the fake news. That was pretty darn tame compared to Guthrie’s hostility on display. She dwelled on demanding Trump denounce white supremacy again and that he denounce Q-Anon. She used most of the first quarter of the event to blame him for the coronavirus and the number of deaths from the pandemic because he doesn’t wear a mask as much as she’d like him to do. There was a lot of overwrought emotion from her during the first quarter and then she toned it done a smidge.
Democrats and Never Trumpers think they are being clever by trashing Mayra Joli for her support of Trump. Instead of making her support into a nonsensical story about a fly, like they did during the vice-presidential debate, they exposed a very interesting woman with a truly American story. She’s an immigrant with a successful career, even running for office herself. She’s living the dream.
While Joe Biden was treated with kid gloves by George Stephanopoulos on ABC, Trump withstood another round in enemy territory. Let’s face it, no one’s vote was changed last night. There really are no undecided voters at this point. Trump successfully brought in moderate Democrats in 2016 to vote for him. The question is whether or not he will hold their support this time.