Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The Great Wall of Trump
Trump's coming to Pittsburgh tomorrow.
He's making two separate appearances. The first one is a "town hall" with Sean Hannity at Soldiers and Sailors Hall on the University of Pitt campus in Oakland. I'm sure Hannity will grill him with some really challenging questions like, "Who's gonna pay for the wall?" And the crowd will chant back "Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!"
Seriously though, I have a question for Trump. It's better suited coming from a 3rd grader... because no adult would ever be allowed to ask it. At least, not on live national television. That's just not how things work at the highest levels of fair and balanced journalism.
So without further adieu, here's the most vexing, challenging question of the entire campaign.
Mr. Trump, you talk an awful lot about building a wall.
Where will the wall start? Where will it end? How high will it be? Can you go around it? Can you tunnel underneath it? Can you fly over it? Will the wall have a door? If so, how many "doors?" Will we be building additional walls on the Northern border, West coast and East coast? If so, please answer the same questions.
And finally, if you're going to make another country pay for it... who will be ultimately held responsible for building it to the proper specifications? Who will supervise and monitor the construction process?
Isn't it peculiar that NOBODY is allowed to ask the most common sense, remedial questions pertaining to one of the biggest national security issues of the campaign. This just doesn't bode well for a future, meaningful discussion on illegal immigration.
Following Sean Hannity's grueling interrogation, Trump will be whisked off for a rally at the David Lawrence Convention Center. I'm sure he'll regale everyone with a rigorous look into foreign and domestic policy. Lamentably, from what I've witnessed, he'll likely tailor the speech to his huge poll numbers, favorability ratings and express an affinity for anything that's yinzer related. I wonder if he can conjure up a Steelers has-been to take the stage. Can you say Bubby Brister? Repeat after me... Buh-B, Buh-B, Buh-B!
We just went to see Bernie Sanders last week. He gave an hour+ speech at the Convention Center. And we also saw Hillary Clinton at the Skibo Gymnasium at Carnegie Mellon University. Both campaign stops were fairly predictable. Bernie stuck to his core themes. His crowd trended a bit radical. Plenty of lizard people, dreaded weirdos, pierced freaks.
I thought Hillary's speech was superior as she tailored it toward the CMU crowd --- specifically issues about technology, fair wages, college debt and immigration. The CMU audience was very ethnically diverse... comprised heavily of Asian and Indian students. And of course, a spattering of elderly white grannies.
Neither used a teleprompter. Just some notes. Both crowds were equally enthusiastic. Both had decent "optics" but Hillary's appearance seemed a bit more professional, organized and polished.
I suspect there will be protests for Trump. Particularly in Oakland. Lots of college kids and student housing nearby. I'm curious to see how "heavy-handed" the cops will be. I think there's some potential for chaos. Here's why. Soldiers and Sailors has a capacity of 2,300. Having been there a few times, I think this number is inaccurate. Seems to me like it's about 1,500. Anyway, I have a hunch that people will be turned away and could find themselves amidst a sea of protesters. Already agitated from being denied the opportunity to watch the venerable Sean Hannity and the megalo-maniacal imbecile in person, there's the makings for heightened tension. And never underestimate the problem with protesters in a balcony setting. Based on the spattering of campaign violence over the past month, Trump should NOT be making political appearances in these type of venues. It's not rocket science. Just building logistics.
The DHL Convention Center also has the potential for some disruptive elements. Just off the Strip and bordering the Northside and the Hill District, I could envision the black population making their presence felt. Oh, and I almost forgot, just up the street... it's a playoff HOCKEY NIGHT in Pittsburgh. Round 1, Game #1 against the New York Rangers. Even Chelsea Clinton is part of the action. She's coming to her mom's campaign headquarters in East Liberty.
Doesn't get much better than this. Just ask Frank Costanza. Pittsburgh's the "place to be."