Trump Campaign Tulsa Post-Mortem: Those Kids Didn’t Tank Rally, We’re Just *That* Stupid!
Donald Trump's campaign manager for the next few minutes, Brad Parscale, promised him a Million Moron March in Tulsa on Saturday. Instead, actual turnout at the BOK Center was about 6,200 people. Nickelback did better. Why was Parscale so far off the mark? Well, it wasn't because of any meddling kids.
Parscale released a statement Sunday declaring the fault lies not with hilarious Zoomers or K-Pop fans, but with his own colossal incompetence.
Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don't know what they're talking about or how our rallies work. Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop fans - without contacting the campaign for comment - behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade. Registering for a rally means you've RSVPed with a cell phone number and we constantly weed out bogus numbers, as we did with tens of thousands at the Tulsa rally, in calculating our possible attendee pool. These phony ticket requests never factor into our thinking. What makes this lame attempt at hacking our events even more foolish is the fact that every rally is general admission - entry is on a first-come-first-served basis and prior registration is not required.
Parscale says a true thing here. There was no cap on tickets, so nothing prevented Trump's deplorables from attending his Coronapalooza if they wanted to. They just didn't want to, because even they're done with Trump. Thanks for clearing that up, Parscale.
The fact is that a week's worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protestors, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally.
The media didn't suddenly hype COVID-19 so Trump's rally would tank. The health risks were known and real. It's why medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who Americans trust more about the pandemic than the president, politely suggested that holding a big rally indoors was fucking stupid. The campaign insisting on a “masks only if you're chicken" policy also didn't help.
The head of the Tulsa City-County Health Department even begged Trump's dumb ass not to come. The Tulsa World, which endorses Republican candidates and runs mostly conservative op-eds, declared in a scathing editorial that it couldn't "see any way that [Trump's] visit will be good for the city." When your live event is receiving Spinal Tap reviews, you might want to lower expectations.
Oh hello, dumb Trump campaign super-lawyer who got very mad about that CNN poll that, like all other polls, showed Trump losing bigly to Joe Biden:
Amusing the fake news media is trying to spin the Tulsa numbers as anything short of an amazing turnout for Preside… https://t.co/jU3OPWlV7E— Jenna Ellis (@Jenna Ellis) 1592778473.0
As journalist Yashar Ali stated on Twitter, people who know what they're doing -- so not Brad Parscale -- don't "brag about ticket reservations ahead of an event" because it "discourages attendance."
Think about it. If you intend to go to a rally for a candidate of your choice but you keep hearing that 800,000 people have reserved tickets (forget that many were fake reservations - that news didn't reach most people), would you still want to go? 800,000 for 19,000 capacity?
Unless you were a super, super diehard fan, the prospect of going to a rally where the candidate and his campaign manager keep touting that 800,000 people have reserved tickets sounds like a nightmare. The long lines, traffic, overcrowding...and all of that during a pandemic.
You want people to feel like they have a chance to get a seat when you reserve a big venue. If you keep saying that you have 42-50 TIMES the number of available seats in reservations why would someone want to show up? Especially if they're older or have kids?
Parscale clearly believed the ticket surge was real enough that he didn't try to reach out to supporters ahead of the rally so Trump wouldn't wind up addressing a stadium as empty as his soul.
It's also silly to suggest that the campaign was caught flat-footed by the weeks of protests across the country or the fact that a Trump rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth weekend would piss off people. Still, it wasn't Altamont, and if Parscale was actually concerned about violence, he could've postponed the rally like pretty much everyone in the country wanted.
Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis claimed above that “thousands" were turned away at the venue. She's a singularly graceless liar, but this is something else. Cameras exist.
@PauletteParis1 @Acyn https://t.co/mCDseOsn30— Neil 🇺🇸 Ⓥ #StayHome #BLM (@Neil 🇺🇸 Ⓥ #StayHome #BLM) 1592776964.0
If “thousands" were turned away, traffic would've been a disaster. People would've complained about it on social media because that's where people complain about everything.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh disputes the fire department's headcount -- presumably Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the K-Pop mob got to them, too. Murtaugh claims 12,000 people went through the metal detectors. That's still significantly fewer than a million people and doesn't reflect the sea of empty chairs, all colored blue as if they were a preview of the electoral map in November.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."