When He’s Not Whining, Even Trump Is Bored at His Closing Rallies

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At the first rally during his final three days of campaigning against the one he calls “Sleepy Joe,” President Donald Trump couldn’t help but sound tired.

During his campaign stop in Newtown, Bucks County, the president was conspicuously subdued, delivering one of his laziest and bored-sounding rally speeches in recent memory. Lacking his standard energy and lib-owning peppiness, Trump sleep-walked his way through his prepared and ad-libbed remarks about how the Hunter Biden emails and foreign-dealings story was somehow the “biggest” story in the country, a country ravaged by Trump’s own mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis and an economic implosion.

He mocked The New York Times for having “apologized” to its readers for something or other. He accused his enemies during his self-described “little special speech” of trying to “silence his voice.” He spoke of “the riots,” the politicians who “let Minneapolis burn,” and the progressives and left-wing educators who wanted American schoolkids “indoctrinated” with history that put greater emphasis on matters such as the horrors of slavery. (His solution? “Patriotic education,” whatever that means.) He sneered at the crowd sizes former President Barack Obama was attracting recently, in support of the current Democratic nominee. And he, of course, mocked “Joe Biden, who’s not all there,” to the crowd’s giddy laughter.

He promised that a second term of his presidency would see more “tough on crime” policy and appointments, and in the same breath trashed Biden for championing the 1994 “crime bill” and for being too tough on crime and Black communities.

But it was all perfunctory and listless, exhibiting none of the hunger or drive that Trump has used to sell his MAGA rallies as rock concerts for cultural conservatives, maskless Fox Business fans, and zealous immigration restrictionists. “He’s been doing so many of these [recently]. You’d be tired, too,” one senior Trump 2020 aide told The Daily Beast near the end of this first rally. “The president hates [media] coverage of him sounding low-energy, though, so I expect this to change fast.”

By the time the second Pennsylvania event of the day rolled around, the president apparently got the memo and the aide was vindicated—but only somewhat.

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