President Trump traveled to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to speak at one of his patented campaign-style rallies last night. In this case he spoke in support of Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Bob Casey on the ballot in November. Barletta is the former mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Read all about it in the devastating City Journal essay by Bob McElwee, “Chain migration comes to Hazleton.”
Barletta made a cameo appearance before the crowd last night. He is a good speaker. President Trump vowed to return to watch a debate between Casey and Barletta in person if one occurred. He anticipated great entertainment value if Barletta were able to confront “Sleepin’ Bob,” an inspired moniker. Barletta’s campaign nevertheless remains a long shot by any account.
I can’t find a transcript of the speech, but I have embedded the video below (about 75 minutes). The Philadelphia Inquirer runs a useful if cursory summary of the speech with background and interviews here. I watched the speech live on FOX News and thought it was worth the time even though it covered almost entirely familiar ground. I want to note two of the themes that I thought readers might find of interest.
Trump provided an extensive critique of his media coverage. He performed it like a stand-up comedian and was, I thought, hilarious. His critique had a motif: his disappointed expectations of favorable coverage for what he views as accomplishments. Though he has made these points before, I thought he was in rare form last night.
One other theme that struck me deeply was the restoration (as I see it) of American pride. “We are respected again,” he said. “The forgotten men and women of the United States are forgotten no more.” This theme carried over to his discussion of our withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and other issues.
Here he has me completely. There was no humiliation by the Islamic Republic of Iran that President Obama did not endure or welcome in order to arrive at his beloved nuclear deal, which all by itself amounted to a monumental humiliation of the United States.