Rounding out the female entourage — in addition to Tiffany — was Caitlyn Jenner, dripping fringe and displaying side-boob.
But I want to concentrate on the little speech Trump gave, his last pre-President speech. I was a bit critical of the remarks he made, earlier in the evening, at the feet of the statue of Abraham Lincoln. I said it was too partisan, with the bragging about the campaign and the polls. Some of it was fine, and I'm looking forward to hearing the Inaugural Address, which I hope turns out to be if not appropriate in the standard way at least some new kind of Trump appropriate — Trumpropriate.
The post title is from the text of last night's dinner speech, and now I'm reading the whole thing, live-blogging my reading. Go to the first link to find the full text. I'm just picking out things I want to talk about:
That was some big victory, some victory. And records were set that haven't been beaten since Ronald Reagan from the Republican side.That's how he begins, partisan and bragging about winning. And a bit incoherent. If you haven't beaten Reagan, you haven't set a record.
The next time, four years from now, the next time, we’re going to win the old-fashioned way, we’re going to win because we did so well, because it was so overwhelming the thing that we did, because it was so beautiful how great our Cabinet … has performed.He's visualizing the presidency as a run-up to the next campaign, but at least the campaign consists of doing a great job and deserving reelection. It's good if he's saying: So far it's been all talk, and thanks for trusting me, but I know now I really have to do what I said, and I want you to judge me by that. That's old-fashioned democracy, not this newfangled whatever it is I just did that you let me get away with. You people are weird, but I love you, but I'm going to try to do what's right — make America great, as I said — and you can shape up and make a reality-based judgment next time, you crazy nuts.
Next, Trump focuses on his cabinet — "the likes of which has never been appointed" — specifically, Sonny Perdue, picked for Secretary of Agriculture. Trump interviewed 10 other people who were all "politically correct," and they were all "I'm really wanting the job." But he said to them: "Let me ask you a question, do you have any experience with farms or agriculture... have you ever even seen a farm?" And "They said 'well, no sir.'" But Sonny:
A great farmer. He loves the farms, knows everything about farming, he knows the good stuff and the bad stuff.He thanks various people and calls out to family members, then has a big section on Reince Priebus:
Nobody knew how to pronounce his name, it's a crazy name. Reince Priebus."Crazy" is a go-to adjective for Trump. Used 4 times in this short speech.
Now everybody pronounces his name right. He's a star. He had a problem because he sort of liked me, he thought I could win and Phyllis Schlafly, the great Phyllis Schlafly, she's a great woman, was a great woman, passed away six months ago, she came out against all of her fellow conservatives and said, "I am not endorsing anyone else but Donald Trump."I get it. You like Reince. Good old Reince. Everyone knows how to say "Reince" now. "Reince" and "Priebus." We know those words. Know what they mean and know how to say them. What a great, great man. And Phyllis Schlafly. Hard to say that too. What's with the "L" after the S-C-H? Wasn't that enough consonants in a row? You had the S and the C and the H and you said, oh, no, that's not enough consonants yet. We need another one! How about an L? Gimme an L. I need an L before A FLY. Remember Obama and the fly? He just caught a fly. Killed a fly! With his hand! I'm germophobic. I won't be killing a fly with my bare hand, I can tell you that. I'll be doing a whole hell of a lot more than killing a fly with my... You know my hands are just fine. They are fully potent, full-sized and fully potent, but I'm not going to be killing flies like Barack Obama. We are going to get things done. We're going to make America great again. Great. Like Phyllis Schlafly. A great woman. Phyllis Schlafly. She died, you know, a while back, but not before endorsing Donald Trump. The great woman would not endorse anyone but Donald Trump. She went through hell. Reince went through hell. Reince and Phyllis. Fantastic, fantastic people.
Reince had the same thing. Reince was taking tremendous abuse. I want to thank Phyllis, she went through hell. She turned [out] to be right. Reince sort of, I always felt he favored me. Reince is fantastic.
He has been an unbelievable leader and he had to win because if he didn't, it was over. He would have been fired. We would have fired you, Reince.
He is an unbelievable leader, an unbelievable talent. He's been my friend and he's been with me from the beginning.
Trump indicates that he's heading in for a landing. He's "just finishing up." This isn't supposed to be a big speech:
The big one is tomorrow at around 12, OK.Around 12, OK. Some people squirm at this unneeded vagueness, but the Constitution provides that the current President's term ends at noon. That's automatic. There's no swearing out. Trump has already been declared by Congress as the winner of the Electoral College vote. So I believe Trump is President at noon. He's required to take the oath, but the precise timing of the oath is not a matter of constitutional law. The key is that he take the oath before he executes any power.
Back to the speech.
We had a couple of things today. Arlington National Cemetery, it was so beautiful, so many people. It was incredible. So we went there and we laid the wreath with Mike and it was beautiful.In transcript, this looks like a second grader was required to write a paragraph about his school field trip. The adjective shortage glares: beautiful... incredible... beautiful.
Then we went to Lincoln Memorial and had a concert and we thought it was a small concert and tens of thousands of people came. They've never had so many....Martin Luther King Jr. had 250,000 people there in 1963. That's nothing to let slip your mind. You can say he was referring to a different category of events, not every crowd that ever gathered in that location, that he only meant crowds that came for inaugural concerts. But it's inelegant to brag about the crowd for the concert in that space that ought to be regarded as sacred. Especially right after talking about Arlington National Cemetery.
Tomorrow seems to be the big one. I made a speech tonight at the Lincoln Memorial in front of all those people and all of those live television cameras, which I had. A couple of them are starting to get honest, though. I thought it was a very good speech and they're saying "doesn't matter tonight, how will he do tomorrow."So this is criticizing the news again. You have to puzzle out for yourself what "them" refers to. The closest thing to an antecedent for that pronoun is "cameras." It's interesting to see that Trump found time to monitor the media and take note that he's being dumped on again. But maybe he's just guessing. He's guessing right.
Tomorrow we have a speech. It may rain, it may not rain. I don't care, it doesn't matter. If it really pours that's OK because people will realize it's my real hair and that's OK. Might be a mess but they're gonna see it's my real hair.... Come here Kellyanne. There is no den she will not go into.She's going up next to him. In his den. He's a lion. With that hair.
When my men are petrified to go on certain networks, I always say "Kellyanne would you do it?" and she says "no problem" and she gets on and she just destroys them. So anyway, thank you, baby.That's some "baby" — stronger than all the men. He loves her. He expresses love. You can just start calling them "baby," and when you're President, they let you do it. You can do anything. Oh, but I'm joking. It's not just anything. He's acknowledging greatness in her, greatness like his own, greatness beyond that of any of the men, other than him. All that, and then "baby." Trumpropriate.
Trump brings it in for a landing on very familiar ground, the story of his victory. "As you know, it was going to be the single greatest defeat in the history of politics...."
And, finally, he ends with his slogan — "We are going to make America great again" — with the augmentation also heard at the end of the concert speech: "Greater than ever before."
UPDATE: I'm live-blogging the inauguration in the next post.