Yessiree: I jumped on the “Trump Train” Thursday night at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, Louisiana. The President joined 15,000 of his closest friends inside the arena and a large number (uncountable) of those looking in from the outside who could not enter because of capacity limits. The picture to the left was taken from a suite about 100 yards from the stage. I used it here so that all could see just how crowded the event was and how close he was to the crowd. I came away with many unexpected feelings and opinions.
- Mr. Trump seemed much more gracious and thoughtful when I listened to his entire speech and actual conversation with the large and biased crowd. I guess that when I’ve looked in to see his other rallies at other locations, most of what I saw were edited or at least just partial segments of those rallies. In context, he certainly showed a communication prowess I did not expect.
- He connects with an audience. I was not a fan of The Apprentice. Quite honestly, I never watched an entire episode. But in retrospect, even on that television show, he spoke to a small number of people gathered around a table at the end of the teaching show. In Bossier City, it was a huge crowd that were there to see him and experience interactions with him. No one was disappointed. He spoke “To” those 15,000+, not “At” them. They responded in kind.
- I was surprised at the makeup of the crowd. Because of news reports that I’ve seen and heard from a year prior to the 2016 election and since, I fully expected to be there with nothing but redneck white supremacists dressed in camo or white sheets. There certainly were a number of folks from Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas who looked to be working-class Americans, but I saw dozens and dozens of people I know who are business owners, retired wealthy people, and many elected officials at local, state, and federal levels that I was shocked to see in attendance in a Congressional election off-year. To my surprise Mr. Trump has an appeal to a diverse cross section of Americans.
- The President was actually respectful on the most part when speaking of his opponents from the Democrat side: that is, except of Rep. Adam Schiff of California. Remember: this was actually a rally for the GOP Candidate for Louisiana Governor in Saturday’s election. Eddie Rispone — a south Louisiana businessman — is running against a one-time heavily favored incumbent Democrat, John Bel Edwards. This was Trump’s third trip to Louisiana stumping for Rispone. And polls show those first two trips at least gave Rispone a couple of large bumps. We’ll see what this the third such trip will accomplish.
Let’s be honest: it’s late here. I wanted to share with you my initial feelings about the Trump Rally while they are still fresh in my mind. Additionally, there were no impeachment inquiry hearings on Thursday and I felt I could give you a break. They will resume on Friday. On Saturday we’ll reconvene to discuss and share our thoughts on the Friday testimonies. But one bit of news was released to coincide with Mr. Trump’s arrival when he stepped off Air Force One: The Ukraine Foreign Minister released some information regarding the Trump “Ukraine-Gate” debacle.
Ukraine Foreign Minister Prystaiko released the following on Thursday regarding Ambassador Sondland’s comments and conversations about links between U.S. aid to Ukraine being delayed that was tied to initiation by Ukraine investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden and Burisma.
Ukraine did not hear from U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland about a link between the delay in military assistance to Ukraine and the investigation into the case of Burisma Holdings, where son of former Vice President Joe Biden Hunter worked.
“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations. You should ask him. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. It was not we, the Ukrainian officials (who were told this),” Prystaiko told the journalists in Kyiv on Thursday.
He said he had no contact with Sondland as an official.
“I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance. Yes, investigations were mentioned, you know, in a presidential conversation. But there was no clear connection between these events,” the minister said.
Once again, an official from Ukraine has countered U.S. Democrats continuous assertions that in that telephone conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, Mr. Trump threatened to hold foreign aid from Ukraine unless Ukraine restarted their corruption investigation into Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian company whose board on which he served: Burisma. That alleged extortion or “quid pro quo” was the fuel that lit the fire of the whistleblower that came forward anonymously. That jump started this latest Trump impeachment investigation.
Apparently, there’s “no there there.”
Oh well, they’ll be plenty more to divert the attention of Americans away from the actual extortion by an American politician who demanded Ukraine fire a prosecutor investigation then Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. Vice President Biden was caught on tape explaining how he had told the former president of Ukraine that unless that prosecutor was fired within six hours, the U.S. would NOT pay to Ukraine the nearly $1 Billion of aid Congress had authorized. Biden’s actions documented by his own confession was NOT a quid pro quo. It was extortion and blackmail.
Do you like me wonder why no one on the Left has assigned any importance at all to what the VP did? Also, why do they continue to simply shop for wrongdoing by Mr. Trump while ignoring the 900-pound gorilla in the room!
Back tomorrow (Saturday) with analysis of Round 2 of the public impeachment inquiry testimony.