Trump's future is a Prairie Home Companion

During his campaign, Trump rally “tickets” served to collect friendly voter data and estimate attendance. They were always free, because it doesn’t make sense for a campaign — especially one so insistent on conflating local crowd size with nationwide support — to erect any barriers to attendance. Without a campaign, though, Trump could charge people to see him. If ticket sales are low, it’s an “intimate evening with the former president.” If they’re high, it’s a “massive stadium event for thousands of Americans who support our REAL leader.” Either way, money’s coming in.

But there could be more money. Why not combine the rallies with the long-rumored media venture? Think of it as a political version of the Prairie Home Companion tours Garrison Keillor used to run before his retirement and subsequent misconduct allegations. Keillor’s home base for the weekly recording was in Minnesota, but often he’d take the show on the road, playing venues from coast to coast. There was always an audience who purchased tickets plus the secondary income stream from the radio broadcast.

Trump might even copy portions of the Prairie Home format. Keillor would have guests write brief greetings to family and friends listening at home as they made their way to their seats, then read some portion of them after intermission, adding a little commentary of his own. Consider it a slightly more sophisticated version of Trump’s penchant for responding to yells from his crowds.