I was standing two rows away from one of the most powerful men in the world.
Recently, I was offered a role for an internship on the Trump Victory Team in rural Minnesota. With that, I was able to get VIP tickets to see the President of the United States, seated between the mother of a West Wing staffer and college friends of President.
President Trump came to Minneapolis on a campaign stop in hopes of “Turning Minnesota Red.” Minnesota has not voted for a Republican President since 1972 when they sent their 10 electoral votes to Richard Nixon. Trump is on a mission to change that and take a Minnesota win in 2020.
President Trump sent his son, Eric Trump, Republican National Committee Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and one major guest, the Vice President, Mike Pence. The fact that President Trump and Vice President Pence both spoke to a packed arena in Minneapolis, with Pence touring a sign factory in Lakeville goes to show that the Trump/Pence campaign in all in for Minnesota.
The Secret Service made me toss my granola bar and crackers, forcing people to buy the food from the vendors inside the arena. Anyone up for a 12 dollar cheeseburger and a four-dollar cup of coffee?
I got to the Target Center around 12:45 p.m., and we were allowed in at 1:30 p.m. All guests were screened through Secret Service security. We were in the arena waiting for the President to come at 7 p.m.
What to do while you wait? Nothing. As time got closer, the Chairwoman of the Minnesota Republican party leads us in prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Lt. Bob Kroll, President of the Minneapolis Police Union also spoke. How unusual that a Union President speaks at a Republican rally.
The mayor of Minneapolis tried to“uninvite” the President to Minneapolis and also told his Police Officers they could not wear their uniforms while working the Trump rally. Not so Minnesota nice, there Mayor Frey.
Kroll and the Police Union protested and made catchy red shirts that said, “Cops for Trump”. It was a hit. Lots of people were wearing them, and the campaign even strategically placed a large group of people in the shirts directly behind the President. At one point, the President invited Kroll and several police officers on stage with him.
Trump spoke for 100 minutes and completely went off script, something he does best. Trump knows what to say to get an audience fired up and excited for his cause.
While the news focused on the protestors, and the local Marshall Independent even did a feature story on SMSU alumni “thrown out” of the rally, these things do not impact the rally. The President uses these things to his advantage and spoke on them.
From the time I drove in and drove out of the parking ramp near Target Center, I encountered zero protestors. None!
The Minneapolis Police Department along with the United States Secret Service did a great job to keep the protestors at distance.
However, the protestors still managed to break through, and there were several moments of tense encounters between rally attendees and rally protestors. Kudos and many thanks to the police officers for standing committed to the protection of all citizens.
Go back and take a look at the cover picture. Recognize anybody in a blue jacket and red shirt?