Yesterday I went to Worcester to cover Donald Trump at the DCU Center I was very interested in seeing the difference between this event and the one in Derry I covered a month ago. The day started pretty good because I was able to fill up for under $2 a gallon .
I arrived in the city about 4:45 PM the traffic on 290 was horrible but not more horrible than it normally is at rush hour on a workday.
The first difference I noted was at the open air parking area near the DCU center parking. Normally it’s a $10 parking fee daily with it occasionally going up to $20 when a big event is taking place. Today it was $30 so Trump appearance is already causing an outbreak in capitalism.
The 2nd thing was the Large enclosed parking garage next to the DCU center. Normally there is a sliding fee based on the amount of time you stay and a machine in the lobby where you pay have but there was clerk at the front charging a flat $10 to get in Cash ONLY. The Cash only threw me off as I rarely carry cash these days, but I had just put a $20 in my wallet that my son had given me to make up for the use of the credit card so that obstacle was overcome.
After parking I conducted my first interview in the elevator where two women were coming to see trump, a Mother and Daughter. They had decided on him.
As we left the elevator there were a pair of guys from CT wearing trump gear. They likewise had settled on Trump and had very little respect for the media who were covering him.
The doors had just opened and people were filing in but the press entrance was in the back so I went around seeing a pair of guys selling buttons and a small group of protestors, around 10-15 some of whom were being interviewed.
Now granted that it was early but Worcester is the 2nd biggest city in New England, and a Democrat and Union Stronghold it was kind of pathetic.
I commented on this and one of the women shouted back “some of us have to work you know.” I wasn’t aware that Governor Baker was so successful that millions of Democrats were now gainfully employed that were not just a year ago. Given the buildup for days it was a joke almost as bad as the drawing 200 in NYC the largest city in the nation.
This suggests that the Latino anger at trump is highly exaggerated & perhaps a media creation. and would be the basis for my question for Donald during the press conference (we’ll jump ahead to that here)
The police presence however was pretty large, part of it might have been from the break-in at the National Guard armory and the theft of automatic weapons but despite some talk on local radio of danger there was nothing that suggested it was anything more dangerous than normal.
At the press entrance it turned out that while recognized I wasn’t on the list again but a few phone called got it sorted out as it did in Derry. While I was waiting for it to be sorted out I interviewed another young man who came to see the Donald.
When I got in the first big difference was the presence of the secret service who did a solid search of my back and everything in my pockets which given how I carry things took some time.
Once inside I started interviewing people in the crowd like Heather and Rachel,
Given I was wearing a press badge and I do more coverage in NH than Massachusetts some were suspicious
But Jean Weston wife of my 1st partner on DaTechGuy on DaRadio spotted me and my Tea Party Bonefides were established, but before I could get past my second conversation the press began moving in a wave toward the front of the stage, I presumed correctly that it was to the pre-event presser that the campaign regularly holds. Oddly enough the amount of press seemed smaller than the Derry event, likely because the novelty of the Trump campaign as show has decreased and the realization that this is an actually campaign has hit them.
Rather than sitting in the back this time I parked myself in the front next to a power outlet sitting on the floor to work, the plan was to record the full audio of the presser available here and to get shots both of the media and trump.
The oddest thing about being silent in the press room is how much the place sounds like a frat with people joking about the candidate and how and if they will manage to annoy him or throw him off.
What I found really amusing is how everyone in the room jumped every time the door opened, in case it was Donald trump coming in as if there wasn’t a million pictures of Trump entering a room and walking to a podium.
The press conference was primarily focused on Syria and refugees, you saw question after question about Trump and the numbers of people coming in, it was all about was it cruel, are you targeting Muslims etc.
On occasion a question came out mentioning another candidate and when it did Trump pounced using it as a chance to hit Marco Rubio and Ben Carson his closest rivals.
I managed to get a question in mentioning the paucity of protestors in the 2nd largest city in New England and a place crawling with democrat strength. Trump loved the question and commented yet again on the type of question he was drawing from me vs the questions he was drawing from the rest of the MSM.
The most ridiculous question was the idea of singling out Mosques for possible closure; it was as if the questioner had noted no common religious denominator between the people attacking all over the world.
We filed back into the main room that had filled up pretty quickly it was announced that the start of the event would be delayed in order to get some of the thousands of people outside waiting to get in.
In the main room I managed two quick interviews one of which was with a woman named Lucia Lamberti Tsongalis who is a woman trying to come in legally it has taken a ton of time and a lot of money. Bit of advice she would be a perfect person for the Trump campaign (or any campaign not pushing illegal immigration) to talk to.
Shortly after that interview Trump entered and the crowd went wild, The press’ area was around the camera area so I didn’t have a good shot so my videos aren’t uploaded but I have plenty of audio because the sound system was so loud.
Trump plays to a crowd like nobody I’ve ever seen in the political world, radio talk host and my former on-air partner Joe Mangiacotti was in attendance commented that in 30 years of covering politics he had never sen anything like it.
It turns out the police presence was justified as there were three different disruptions, one from a group that unfurled a batter in a back area that was eventually removed a second person was escorted out after an issue but third of the three (who had a slightly Arabic appearance to my eyes) had to be physically restrained and put up a real struggle. Near the end of the speech a 4th person attempted to disrupt the speech “I mentioned food stamps and that guy who was seriously overweight went crazy.” (trump mentioned 3 but the first one with the banner was two people so he likely counted it as one.
It’s a great example of how just a few people can have an outsized effect in a giant crowd. And it was a large crowd I hand counted 5000 then gave up. Trump said 12,000.
In terms of the speech Trump talked about trade, the talked about Syria, he hit Ben Carson Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio (saying he’s young maybe he’ll get better)
But that was nothing compared to Hillary Clinton (lucky to get out of the mail business without jail
Bernie Sanders ( can you believe this guy Paris is caused by Global Warming) and he didn’t even say O’Malley’s name but mentioned Baltimore which was enough to make his point.
He made the media and the protesters a target and noted to the crowd how the media reports, there are times when I think Trump checks out lines with the press and if the MSM hates it he knows to use it in a speech because people love it.
There were a bunch of familiar faces including Joe Mangiacotti, Mike Wade, Gary Goldman (WCRN) Mary Lotz (Fitchburg Republican Committee) and Connie Murphy (WQPH Catholic radio) in attendance and I talked to them after the event. Unfortunately during part of the interviews the power supply was kicked out so the pc went into hibernate, but we restarted the interviews directly afterward here.
As for what I thought, Trump has improved as a candidate considerably, his suggestions on Syria mimicked mine which surprised me.
He’s even gotten better at playing the press, he reads them like a book. Most candidates have to do a version of jiu jitsu confounding them as best they can. Trump realizes that they are dependent because of the ratings he brings on him rather than the reverse so it makes for an interesting show.
With the first balloting closing in the reality of trump’s position is closing in on the press, not to mention the rest of the field. If what I’m seeing from people is accurate I think he’s going to do extremely well.
The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000 and to date we’re only at $5100 (which is why this post is up a day later since I’ve picked up a 3rd shift warehouse job that I went to as the Trump rally was over and I had to crash after I got home)
Given that fact I would I ask you to please consider hitting DaTipJar.
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