It's impossible to predict exactly what kind of dumb, expensive stunt the Trump campaign might go with. But a plan like that would absolutely be in character with Donald Trump. Remember, Trump's original plan was to make the RNC a spectacular, star-studded event filled with the likes of Mike Tyson and, uh, Mike Ditka.
Like the political version of Dancing With The "Stars."
And although he got only Scott Baio in the end, Donald's clearly still hungry for the kind of mass public adulation that comes from doing something flashy and dumb in front of tens of thousands of people. Remember, this is the man who delivered the longest convention speech in 40-some years and then spent the next couple of weeks bragging to crowds about getting 24 minutes of applause. What this guy wants is a rally.
Charles Russell/National Archives and Records Administration
Right-wing activists in the U.S. have long been frustrated at their inability to put together the kind of massive crowds of activists seen at, say, the 2003 Iraq War protests. There have been several high-profile flopped "marches on Washington" since President Obama took office. The most noteworthy was probably the Taxpayer March on Washington in 2009, which had between 60,000 and 80,000 attendees if you ask actual experts on crowd estimation and up to 2 million attendees if you ask people with their own historically accurate George Washington costumes. A massive Trump rally actually might draw hundreds of thousands of people to the national lawn. The man's supporters aren't lazy.
And Donald Trump is a demagogue at his core. You only have to see him speak in front of a crowd to see how much he clearly enjoys it. That's what he loves about running for president, and it's a thrill no amount of TV ads are going to give him. From the beginning, Trump's been a campaigner who hates letting other people do anything for him. And the best reason to suspect Donald might be readying some spectacular, public stunt is that -- quite simply -- it might work.
This NPR article from the 2012 election is one of the better articles you'll read on whether or not political campaign ads actually work or not. Near the end it quotes a political scientist, Lynn Vavreck, who said:
Trump's clearly ceded the TV game to the Clinton campaign. But he may be betting that a yuuuge stunt near the end of the election could garner enough media attention to flip the momentum back to his campaign. And once all the news is focused on his giant crowds and screaming supporters, what will all of Hillary's ad dollars be worth? It'd be like a second Republican Convention, only not followed by a Democratic Convention and not partly controlled by the meddling boobs in the Republican Party who won't let Trump be Trump anymore.
Or he's planning a coup. Either way, maybe buy some stock in Smith & Wesson.
Get some insight into Donald Trump's Twitter strategy in Check Out This Weird Theory About Trump's Twitter We Found and The Laziest Lie Of Donald Trump's Entire Campaign (So Far).
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