After month after blissful month without the horrifying spectacle of the political circus that is a Donald Trump rally, the disgraced former president has announced his plans to return to the road, scheduling events in Ohio and Florida later this month.
While Trump has made appearances at closed gatherings of Republican luminaries since he left office, the newly scheduled rallies would be the first mass public appearance from the Don of Mar-a-Lago since he exited the White House.
USA Today revealed the details of Trump’s latest self-aggrandizing events today, saying that his first post-presidential rally would take place near Cleveland on June 26th, followed by a Tampa area event a week later on July 3rd.
The newspaper sourced their information from “two aides familiar with the planning” of the rallies.
While Trump has hinted that the rallies were imminent, today’s news gives the first concrete details about his plans.
In an interview with One America News last month, Trump telegraphed his plans, saying “We’ll be doing one in Florida, we’re going to do one in Ohio, we’re going to do one in North Carolina.”
No details of a North Carolina rally have yet to be announced, and even the Ohio and Florida events lack any details of their exact locations as the final negotiations are still in progress.
If his recent appearance at the North Carolina state Republican convention is any indication, attendees at the upcoming rallies should expect to hear Trump repeat his false claims of an election stolen from him through fraud and moan about how unfairly he’s been treated.
With most people just beginning to emerge from the seclusion required by the Trump administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen whether even his most fervent supporters will want to spend their Saturday nights in peak summer season listening to a failed reality TV celebrity launch into a litany of his narcissistic grievances.
Depending on the response to his rallies, Trump will likely gauge whether his support is still strong enough to decide to run to regain the presidency or at least continue to fleece his supporters for campaign funds.
Either way, having spent most of his time since leaving the White House sequestered away at his Florida resort, the return to appearances before fervently drooling crowds is likely to feed his semi-starved ego that has certainly suffered from a lack of adulation during the past few months.
While Trump is signaling his return to the spotlight, the big question remains how many people still want to see him there.
Original reporting by David Jackson at USA Today.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.