Donald Trump blew into Council Bluffs last night, by way of Omaha’s Eppley Airfield, and gave a Trump rally to Trump fans.
He spoke for an hour and fifteen minutes.
One hour and fifteen. All talking.
And there was no intermission.
Heck, consider that many people got there at 4:00pm or earlier, he didn’t go on until about 6:45pm and didn’t end until about 8:00pm.
If you were really into Trump, that’s a solid four hours of time on your feet.
So what did you get? Well, first, it was in the relatively small Exhibition Hall that is connected to the main arena at CB’s Mid-America Center. He could have used a larger room.
Here were people packed into the front half:
And then that went down either side (with a big press riser in the middle) and then people in the far back as well.
I’d guess there were at least 2,000 people in there — but I haven’t seen anything exact. Everyone had to pass through metal detectors so the crowd was still filing in after Trump had already started. (Heard on the radio that there were 500 people who DIDN’T get in.)
And what did he have to say?
He didn’t really break any news. He is clearly making a push for Iowa’s Evangelical vote, brandishing a Bible at the start. And he made a sort of left-handed knock on Ted Cruz not really being an Evangelical. (Interestingly, Rick Santorum made a similar comment yesterday as well.)
And he had some generic hits Hillary. A whack at Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador of Japan.
But otherwise there were lots and LOTS of…poll numbers. “I’m ahead in this poll, and that poll, and the press doesn’t say it, but I am, and the press stinks, and I’d be great at making deals…”
Nothing you haven’t heard before.
The closest he got to a detailed policy was saying he’d tax foreign-made American imports (like Fords built in Mexico) an additional 35%.
Though he could easily walk that back.
So here was the interesting part:
At one point Trump expressed his love of Omaha. And the crowd gave a loud cheer. So he asked how many were from Nebraska.
And probably 80% of the crowd raised their hands. And I think he was surprised. And probably a little disappointed.
There is a feeling by many (expressed yesterday by Hugh Hewitt, among others) that Ted Cruz is going to win Iowa. The gist is that the Caucuses demand an organization, and Cruz has one and Trump does not.
I’m not sure the CB rally helped Trump in that aspect. Posters were up asking people to help organize and represent at their caucus site.
With just a month to go, you would think or hope that would already be in place.
So does that mean Trump hopes for the best, but really puts his faith in New Hampshire and South Carolina?
Well, at this point I’m not sure underestimating Trump is the right game plan.
But if the rally in Council Bluffs, that was more Nebraska than Iowa, is an indication, a primary may be better for Trump than a caucus.
Of course we won’t have to wait long to find out.
**Click here to watch the entire speech.**
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