Friday, January 31, 2020
DES MOINES, Iowa — Of course Donald Trump packed the Knapp Center arena on the campus of Drake University, filling all 7,152 seats in the stands, with more on the floor. Of course another 1,000 people or so, kept out by the fire marshal, hung around in sub-freezing temperatures outside to watch the president's speech on a big screen. Of course the Trump event dwarfed those of any of his Democratic rivals days before the Iowa caucuses.
Here in the first-voting state, President Trump is just bigger than his opponents. And if that message isn't made clear by just looking around, he spent a good deal of his speech reminding the audience of it. He is big, and they are small. He's on top of his game, and they can't get it together. He matters and they don't.
I don't think it's a good sign that when I imagine this, my mental picture is always in black and white. Bernie v. Trump. It's so 1930s. I don't think PDT is a fascist or anything like one. But Bernie is a commie and Trump is almost too big for the job. Gives me the willies.