Live from Des Moines, Trump’s thank you tour

Dave Begley is a Nebraska attorney and occasional contributor. When President-elect Trump’s thank you tour touched down in Des Moines last night, Dave was there (as was the Omaha World-Herald’s Robynn Tysver). Dave provides the color commentary and the photo of “Little Trump” below:


Historic and transformative. How many times were those two words used in connection with Barack Obama? I submit to you that the way Donald J. Trump is setting up his presidency, he will be the historic and transformative president. Why? He is working at a furious pace. He is assembling an impressive and conservative cabinet and he is establishing himself as a man of deeds instead of a man of words.

But first a little foundation. Thursday morning Richard LeFrak appeared on CNBC. LeFrak has known Donald Trump for decades ; they both are in the New York real estate business. This voice of experience said Trump is hard working and laser focused on achievement. Can anyone disagree with that based on what we have seen in the past 90 days?

In Des Moines on Thursday, the President-elect focused on many of his main campaign themes. He also introduced his proposed Ambassador to China, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. The context of Branstad’s selection is important. The Iowa governor has a personal relationship with China’s leader and he will deliver results for the American people based on mutual respect. Our trade deficit and currency problems with China will be in the hands of the longest serving governor in American history.

It was interesting to see how Trump handled a disruption from the crowd. Instead of “throw them out” from campaign days it was, “that’s okay. They are on our side; they just don’t know it yet.” It was a remarkable difference from a few short months ago.

Some on Wall Street are calling Trump the “Orange Swan.” This is a reference to the historic rarity of a Black Swan in nature and in financial markets. The stock market is already anticipating good things for America due to Trump’s anticipated proposals on taxes, trade, regulation, oil and gas and infrastructure. This is a big, big deal and if the President-elect can get his proposals enacted into law then our economy really could grow at 4 percent a year.

Trump told the Iowa crowd that he first thought his use of “drain the swamp” was hokey, but as crowds responded to it he got enthused about it and it became a signature meme. The fact that candidate Trump adapted and responded to the crowds drawn to his rallies shows something of his connection to his supporters.

There was no mention of the dishonest media. Why bother? The President-elect controls the agenda and dominates the conversation with his thank you tour, tweets and daily auditions at Trump Tower. He preempts media criticism and fills the airwaves with his message. In that respect, Trump goes over the heads of the media and direct to the public like an updated version of Ronald Reagan.

In his scripted ending he gave an inspirational riff on no task is too tough for America if we are unified. He also said that each American will be the captain of his own destiny and that “it’s an exciting time to be alive.” In the musical Hamilton Eliza Schuyler sings, “Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!” That’s the historic and transformative Trump to whom I referred above.

“America first” and patriotism were also big themes for the speech. What you may not get from television is the excitement. It was 20 degrees in Des Moines and the large crowd was as fired up as for an Iowa-Iowa State basketball game. And when Trump steps onto the catwalk, thousands of smartphones are elevated for picture taking.

I’ve gone from a Trump skeptic to a near true believer. Now it is all about execution with the media and Dems lying in wait to pounce on any mistake, real or imagined.


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