Part of this job means doing stuff you don't necessarily want to do - like watching the official launch of Trump's re-election campaign.

I mean I like to be informed, but really, I've never felt the urge to walk the dog more than when confronted with the thousands (or if Trump's doing the numbers, probably the hundreds of thousands) of people packed into a stadium in Orlando.

But I figure if even Melania can show up in her fluorescent yellow and peel back a forced smile, then I can at least give it five minutes.
I watched it so you don't have to.


In short, it was virtually a repeat of 2016.
There were more red MAGA hats than you could shake a stick at. There was a lot of booing (at the "fake news" media), there was a lot of chanting. "Drain the swamp" was one of the many chants returning to haunt us for a second time round). "Build the wall!" and "U-S-A!" were the other ones. You know the drill.

He was still talking about Hillary Clinton and her emails... I have no idea why.
He also spent a lot of time bagging the press, the "rigged" system, the swamp who are "fighting back" as he put it, he's "under siege" he said.

He talked a lot about the "fake news", he even managed to work in a bum-out of the Academy Awards. He said there was the same amount of press at his rally that there used to be at the Academy Awards before they "got all political" and dived in the ratings. Take that Hollywood elite.

Trump talked about winning against Robert Mueller, he talked about an earthquake at the ballot box - which he promises, he's going to do again. He talked about the economy being on fire: "the envy of the world", he said.

He took Obamacare to task again. He talked up trade talks: "great deals" are coming. He talked about speaking with President Xi in China: "We'll get a great deal or no deal at all, and that's OK too", he said.

Trump accused the "fake news" of not reporting on China and the trade deal fairly. He then lunged from claiming Xi was a nice guy and a great President, to in the same breath claiming China had taken the US for "suckers".

He talked up the unemployment numbers, he said 'MAGA' a lot.. "we're in MAGA country!" More wooping and clapping.

Then, in what seemed like cheerleading try-outs, he asked the stadium to cheer "make America great again" and then cheer for the new slogan, "keep America great again" - and he'd judge which slogan wins. FYI, "Keep America great again" was the winner.


Look, in short, what I'm saying is, from Trump ally Lindsey Graham grinning like a Cheshire Cat doing the thumbs up, to Ivanka beaming with the white teeth, to Melania looking like she needs a cup of tea and a lie down, I get the feeling it's going to be a long campaign.