A truly unexpected moment happened during the Trump town hall on NBC Thursday night. A woman identified by Savannah Guthrie as a registered Republican who is leaning toward voting for Joe Biden this election stood up and paid a compliment to President Trump before asking a serious question. She gushed, actually, and kind of giggled.
“I have to say, you have a great smile,” Dale told the president. “You’re so handsome when you smile.” The president smiled and thanked her and some in the audience clapped. “He does. You’re so handsome when you smile.”
“You're so handsome when you smile.” pic.twitter.com/xvrupGUhqd
— Vince Coglianese (@VinceCoglianese) October 16, 2020
She sounds like a true Trump fan, right? Nope. She’s not. Despite her schoolgirl behavior as she began to speak, she is a Biden voter. Maybe she was just nervous about posing a question to the most powerful man on earth but after Savannah Guthrie introduced Paulette Dean as a registered Republican “leaning” toward voting for Biden, her unprompted compliment was odd. She went on to ask a good question about DACA and immigration. It almost looked like she was trying to do a solo performance of a good cop/bad cop interrogation but she was too pleasant, frankly, to pull it off. So, the audience was left thinking that maybe she was swayed by their interaction and Ms. Dale decided to go ahead and vote for Biden. Again, nope. She’s still voting for Biden.
I don’t want to dog the woman for gushing. If she hadn’t gone so overboard with such a personal statement, her remark could have sounded like a pleasant way to begin the exchange as she said hello to him. But, c’mon. That was weird. I do think it was a nervous reaction on her part. As I said, she asked a good question which Savannah Guthrie did not ask about – immigration. She is a former college professor and she is a member of a focus group in Miami so she is used to speaking to people and engaging in serious discussions. Her question specifically about DACA was rooted in her concern for students, she said later. NBC chose her for her question about DACA.
A former resident of Miami, Dale now lives in Palm Beach County in the town of Highland Beach. After 35 years as a professor at Miami Dade College, she retired about a decade ago.
Dale said her big television appearance was fairly last-minute. For years, she has been a part of a focus group called Ask Miami, and on Wednesday she responded to a questionnaire for voters interested in posing a question to Trump or Biden. She said she was contacted hours later by someone at NBC who said they liked a question she submitted for Trump about DACA.
At the town hall, Dale described having grandparents from Russia and Poland.
“As the daughter of immigrants to the United States who fled Eastern Europe due to religious persecution, the United States’ immigration policies are very personal for me,” she said. “Surveys show that most Americans and the majority of Republicans support the Dreamers program. So my question for you, Mr. President, is: If you are elected to a second term, do you expect to pursue your previous efforts to cut the DACA program?”
She indicated she was satisfied with Trump’s response. It just wasn’t enough to change her mind about her vote.
“We are working very hard on the DACA program and you will be, I think, very happy over the course of the next year, because I feel the same way that you do about it,” the president assured Dale.
Dale said she was pleased with Trump’s response, but it wouldn’t be enough to sway her vote. She plans to vote for Biden during Florida’s early-voting period, which begins on Monday.
Dale said she asked about immigration based partly on her experience at Miami Dade College. She said many of her students were Dreamers, and she worries about their future under Trump.
“I know these kids are the cream of the crop and are so worthy, and I was very concerned that the rug would be pulled out from under them and they would be sent back,” she said.
She also submitted a question about climate change because she doesn’t think Trump “believes in science.”
“He’s very combative and he doesn’t believe in science, and that’s a big concern to me,” she said. “And by his own words, he knows more than the [military] generals, knows more than the public-health experts, knows more than anybody. I believe Joe Biden will listen to the experts.”
People reacting to Ms. Dale on Twitter hope that Allison Janey is cast as her on SNL.
Please God! Tell me @AllisonBJanney will play Paulette Dale this week on @SNL??? 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/gXLcdEgymh
— Bryant (@BryantMartinTx) October 16, 2020
Most of all, Ms. Dale proves my point that there are really no undecided voters out there. It would have been more honest for her to have been introduced as a Biden voter, not someone leaning toward voting for status quo Joe. Ms. Dale sounds like a Democrat who longs for the days of Obama/Biden. She sounds as though she wants open borders and climate change agreements that hurt the American economy and are not enforceable on the world stage.
Mr waiter, I’ll have a double pork stuffed lobster with a bowl of gravy.
– Paulette Dale, Leaning Vegetarian pic.twitter.com/OhJ5jr7zw2
— raf (@rafaelshimunov) October 16, 2020
After the debate, Ms. Dean came clean about her decision to vote for Biden.
The woman who told Trump that he was handsome and had a great smile is apparently voting for…Joe Biden.
“I wish he would smile more and talk less,” she said of Trump. “I think the man has a nice smile. However, I’m not a fan."https://t.co/RYxRG6O7RW
— Matt Viser (@mviser) October 16, 2020
“I wish he would smile more and talk less,” she quipped.
Asked to elaborate, Dale said the president “steps in it every time he opens his mouth.”
“I think the man has a nice smile. However, I’m not a fan,” she further clarified.
She was satisfied with her exchange with Trump but no matter what he says, she’ll still vote for Biden. She is not an undecided voter leaning toward Biden. She has decided to vote for Biden. Oh yeah, she voted for Hillary in 2016. At this point the question is, is Ms. Dale really a registered Republican?
Maybe she wishes Hillary had smiled more. Surely that would have gotten her elected, right? Yeah, no.
This has to be an amazing troll, right? It's a deliberate parody of all the "smile more" discourse directed towards female politicians. https://t.co/eT4mOkNOWq
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) October 16, 2020