What Makes President Trump So Special: A magic night in Lebanon, Ohio

There were some deeply touching moments in the Trump rally in Lebanon, Ohio which I partially expected. But we’re talking about a sitting president stumping for some midterm candidates here, politics is not supposed to be this exciting and people normally don’t show up five, six and seven hours early to stand in the cold and in the rain to watch a 72-year-old man talk. This is a human phenomenon that is unsurpassed in the history of the world, I don’t even think the great Winston Churchill could have brought out the crowd that greeted President Trump at the Warren County Fair Grounds on Friday October 12, 2018. I was just a little stunned by the event. I had a feeling that there would be a large crowd, but the sheer magnitude of it was just jaw dropping. There was a collision of Americana present that was obvious and inspiring and I thought John London from Channel 5 News in Cincinnati put his finger on it perfectly in his summation of the night.

There is a lot to unpack from this event and it will certainly take more than one article to cover it all but for the sake of brevity here I have to thank the people who gave my daughter and I the opportunity to witness this spectacle from the comfort of the V.I.P. section. Yes it was freezing cold and we got rained on and we did stand most of the time. But at least we had a seat and a good vantage point to watch this unusual moment in history.

I always feel sorry for people who don’t have that kind of access to these big Trump events, but as I looked at people’s faces on the floor, many who had been standing under the roof for more than four hours—before President Trump even arrived—they were happy people just willing to be near the star of the show if even for a moment. People were packed everywhere that people could put themselves for as far as the eye could see and it was quite something to witness. It was inspiring to say the least. If these people were willing to show up in the cold and rain of an October in Ohio, they would surely show up to vote for Republicans Trump endorsed in the upcoming election.

This was my oldest daughter’s first time to go to one of these events with me and she was very touched by it. She is a professional photographer and shares with me a tendency to like to view the world through big picture vantage points. The event organizers couldn’t have put us in a better spot for that particular venue, we had the top row of the bleachers just behind the president. I’ve watched President Trump speak many times so it was good to be behind him because my interest was mostly the crowd. The media never does justice to what the crowds look like from Trump’s point of view and we were fortunate to see the whole thing more from the president’s perspective even watching the motorcade role in to drop him off, and turn around all the vehicles to take him back to Lunken afterwards. President Trump does many very subtle things that only a polished pro like him can do on such large operations with many moving parts coming together seamlessly. He is super smart, from where I was standing I could see him staging up his entry onto the stage to match perfectly the various cable news top of the hour broadcasts, and he ended everything right on time like such a seasoned performer. But he’s of course juggling much more than that just in the complexities of his job. Yet while Steve Chabot was talking the President could get a sense that the crowd was drifting. People not under the roof of that magnificent structure on the fairgrounds were getting soaked, including my daughter and I. People next to us were starting to head for the exit. Trump was watching and he ever so subtly tapped Steve in the middle of the back to change things up a bit. Chabot took the cue and sped up his speech and Trump seamlessly changed gears and held the audience to his next twenty minutes of oration. Most people might not even see the value in such a thing, but that is one of the very raw distinctions that Trump has over everyone else in the world. He is literally a master communicator and he knows exactly what he is doing all the time. I continue to be impressed by President Trump every time I see him live, I don’t think I’d ever get sick of it.

After the event was over and people headed out to the parking lot, which used to be the old horse racing track that was moved to Miami Valley gaming several miles to the west my daughter and I lingered around watching the press. I literally stood next to an AP writer and watched her write the news feed of the event, which she mostly got all wrong. But she was shivering and tapping her feet viciously trying to stay warm. For people who haven’t been to these types of things before the media are always given a spot near the back of a rally to photograph from, and behind that raised camera platform is usually rows of tables so that writers can get their stories out. Mostly these reporters are like anybody else, they just want to get their jobs done and get home. Once the Trump supporters had left for their cars the reporters could relax a bit and get their stories out to their employers to meet their deadlines. Most of those reporters didn’t go to the trouble that John London did at Channel 5. They see hundreds of these types of rallies so there is no magic in them that they can see, they only care about the surface stuff. But one thing that everyone missed from a reporter’s standpoint that was very clear to me was how Trump handled the weather.

Remember when Obama had to have a military official hold an umbrella over him while he gave a speech in the Rose Garden? Well in these times of high insurance rates and overly cautious appraisals of everything I didn’t think Trump’s people would let him take the stage because it had been raining so long. The stage was soaked. Part of the stage entry was raised and ran outside of the roof that most of the rally was under, so it was exposed to the weather. Rain had clearly soaked it after many hours. But Trump did the right thing when he arrived. Some of his security wiped off the platform with towels and Trump walked out across it without any concern for his safety which these days was highly unusual. Lesser people would have called the whole thing off, but not this president.

Trump shows up to talk to his supporters under any condition, and that is part of his appeal. But when he left the rain had been coming down even harder. The safe thing would have been for Trump to take the steps down into the pit and stay under the roof, but no, he went back out the way he came in and the ramp wasn’t dried off at all. Trump walked across it like a seasoned pro not even worrying about slipping and falling. Trump isn’t afraid of little things like that and that is part of what distinguishes him from everyone else. It’s a subtle little thing, but those add up and they make Trump and all those he endorses that much more appealing.

Trump has made the Republican Party much, much better. I’ve always identified myself as a Republican, but I have never been prouder to be affiliated with it. Trump is a superstar, he was before he ever ran for president, yet he’s not so pretentious that he’s afraid of rain, or hard work. And nobody works harder than President Trump.

These rallies may cost a fortune to put on, and may be traffic nightmares, but one thing that comes out of them is that Trump talks directly to people who support him. He doesn’t hide out in the White House enjoying the luxury of the office. He works, and he works hard—and he’s willing to endure the cold and the rain if his supporters are. And that is what makes Donald J. Trump special, and why the Republican Party has a new life because of him. The Democrats don’t have anybody even close and they likely never will.

Rich Hoffman

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The Death of John McCain: Finally, Lucy won’t be able to pull away the football–Charlie Brown isn’t there to try and kick it

I typically don’t pile on when someone I don’t care for dies. It is good to just let things go when they are not necessary for strategic implementation. But with John McCain, there is so much being made about his death that it has to be addressed. Greatness, as it is being sold to us through the various aspects of our culture is not what John McCain was. It is stunning how many liberals are yearning for him now that he has died. There is more unsaid than said in this case as McCain represented a Republican Party that Democrats could easily beat. In the manner for which he is being celebrated, it is not for his courage and triumph but for his complacency and defeat, so that his humble nature might be copied by current Republicans so that Democrats might aspire to new life. John McCain is not being paraded around for all his great deeds but simply that he was until his last dying breath of servant of the state, and it will be the state that misses him. To me John McCain will always be the loser of two presidential runs, the guy who prevented Obamacare from being scrapped with his late night no vote, and he’s the Never Trumper who helped put the Steele dossier against Trump in the hands of the FBI. When I heard he had died I changed the channel to watch something else.

Yet now for days we have been hearing about how great John McCain was and how his sacrifices for our country were so magnificent—which is why we have to talk about this issue. Anymore, in this era of the Donald Trump presidency that it is the people who believe so intensely in the value of institutions that are against the new president. They have a visceral hatred for him and his independence, as well as the independence of the people who support him. If you really peel back the onion it is the institutionalized state and its servants who hate Donald Trump like jealous caged animals stuck in a zoo hates the spectators who observe them from the freedom behind a moat. John McCain was on full display from a kind of guerrilla pin watching people watch him in his natural habitat, the cages of Capitol Hill, the former POW captured behind enemy lines and tortured by the little Vietnamese. John McCain wasn’t the Rambo type of soldier that Americans fantasized about, he was the compliant soldier who did what everyone told him to, even when captured by the communists. Again during his own run for president when he had an opportunity to slam President Obama, he gave up on the chance and surrendered behind politeness while real evil did its work. The reason John McCain is being celebrated now is not for all the good things he did, it is for essentially being a Republican who left the door open for all the insurgents against America to sneak in, and for that they called McCain a patriot.

The institutionalized state views people like McCain patriots because they will sacrifice themselves so that the state can live, which is why McCain’s time as a POW is such a sentimental endeavor. While the typical Trump supporter would find heroics in killing all McCain’s captors and making belts out of them, McCain was a good prisoner who did what they told him to. He was a good Senator who lost when the institutions told him to and to yield his hopes and dreams for the highest office in the world to a young black Senator named Obama. When 700 WLWs Bill Cunningham set McCain up to take some shots at Barack Hussain Obama during the 2008 election McCain attacked the popular talk radio host for conduct unbecoming. McCain lost the election and America ended up with a socialist as its president for the next 8 years. Markets plummeted just as they do in every country where socialists are put into positions of power because the smart money left the country and took their jobs with them. McCain losing that election followed by a poor performance by Mitt Romney the following cycle created Donald Trump. For McCain to hate Trump the way he did by not even wanting the President to attend his funeral says everything about the deceased senator. He wasn’t one of the good guys. He was a Trojan horse who sided with the insurgents and encouraged those protecting the gates of Americanism to let down their doors and work with their enemies.

McCain is being celebrated as a politician who could work with both sides, when civility ruled the Senate. But what the institutions that miss him now are really mourning is that the days of Republicans leaving the door open so that bad people could take over the institutions is over, and now they miss those easy victories. While McCain probably did love his country and believed that everything he did was for the better, it all goes back to him being a prisoner of war in communist Vietnam and growing empathy for his captors and putting his faith into the institutions for which the war was fought and resigning himself to just being one little speck in the grand scheme of things that made him dangerous as a major player within the institutions which seek power at any cost—because he was all too willing to give it to them. John McCain was not a great man by my definition, nor by Trump apparently where judgments are made about conduct successfully done. McCain was the professional Charlie Brown that always had the football ripped away by Lucy at the last-minute and for that the institutions will miss him. But to the real achievers in the world, they’d rather forget that he was on their team at all.

I don’t blame Trump for not lowering the flag to half staff on Monday. McCain did everything he could to feed the phony Russian story back to the FBI which started the whole process in an effort to make it look legitimate. McCain always the good institutionalist tried to use his experience and levity as a former presidential candidate to make the Steele dossier look legitimate which started this whole mess with Mueller which is in Trump’s back pocket every day. Then to make matters worse, McCain hated Trump so much that he made it clear that the president wasn’t invited to his own funeral.

Yet that is what the institutionalized state will miss about John McCain. His death is actually the death of easy Republican defeats and a propped up Democratic Party, so of course they are sad. But why should the rest of us be? Honestly, I’d rather forget about John McCain, I certainly won’t miss him. He was a loser who hid his failures behind the sacrifices that state control required, and he renamed them victories. And for that he is being propped up as a great man being paraded around the country for the people to mourn. Will we do the same for other senators in the future, will we do such tributes to Senator Bob Dole, or Mitch McConnell? No, because what is being celebrated is not the life of John McCain but the willing servant of the institutions themselves, a feeder of evil to the causes against individual liberty. And that is what modern institutions call—good. Yes they will miss John McCain, but I certainly won’t.

Rich Hoffman

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Advice for Donald Trump in Ohio: Sheriff Jones is key to winning on Kasich’s turf–where to speak and how before the primary

So who hasn’t been threatened to be killed? Listening to Sheriff Jones talk about it, he makes it sound like it’s an exclusive thing. It’s not. Anyone who tells some faction of the collective society—whether its drug dealers, organized crime trying to dominate a specific region, or just a bunch of thugs trying to impose their will, being threatened to be killed is a common occurrence. Just because someone desires something, doesn’t mean they get it. As far as I’m concerned it’s as common as breathing air, but when you talk about it like some sissy, it diminishes the value of standing against the tide of collectivism. A real man doesn’t babble about it—because it demeans the bravery it takes to stand against such villainy. When bad guys come knocking, you just take care of it. That’s pretty much the end of the story. However, that is just one of the topics Jones talked about in the short piece on Channel 5 highlighting the Butler County Sheriff as a video bookend to a pretty decent career as a cop and sheriff willing to tackle tough national issues.  Most notably the recent attempts of the Donald Trump campaign to bring Jones to New York to encourage a partnership in the fight against illegal immigration. It is on that point that I am writing this—mainly for Trump and his handlers so they can understand the strategic importance of Sheriff Jones and why Butler County, Ohio is a key area to win over—so that they can take the steps to do so.

Sheriff Jones and I think alike on a lot of issues, particularly illegal immigration and drugs. I also like it when he wears his cowboy hat. He and I had very different opinions over the Issue 2 debate—he was completely pro union whereas I was all for the collective bargaining reforms offered by the much debated Senate Bill 5. I was with Kasich on that issue while Jones was speaking against it. Jones and I even debated publicly together on it—but we tried to keep it friendly even though I saw his position as a large contributor to the problem regarding public employee pay and compensation. We were also at odds over the last Lakota levy passage—the large public school that we both share a property tax obligation to. I was against the tax increase, he was for it. Even though we live only a few miles apart in Liberty Township, Ohio we don’t cross paths much these days. He’s been pro establishment Republican supporting Judy Shelton’s Central Committee domination while I lean much more toward Tea Party reforms. But there is a lot I do like about him. We both like John Wayne and we are both a bit extraverted when we need to be. We’ve both been frequent guests on WLW radio in the past so there is more to like than not to. Although my wife thinks he should be personally much tougher on drug busts than he is, her position on drugs is even harsher than mine—so in Jones’ defense, she is extremely hard to please on the matter.

I wasn’t going to rub it in. It’s not a coincidence that Judy Shelton decided to resign on September 14th 2015. Just a few weeks later John Boehner, the third most powerful person in the world also from Butler County who lives right across the street in West Chester, just another few miles from where Jones and I live—stepped down as Speaker of the House. The writing was on the wall, Judy had been protecting Boehner from challengers within the party and now that protection was stripped away. Everyone who knows politics knows that the way to win endorsements and therefore party support comes from the Central Committee—so Boehner had no choice as opposition toward the status queue mounted within those ranks of behind the scenes politics.

Now with Todd Hall running the GOP and the incredibly weak showing by John Kasich during his last trip to Butler County—there is a real hunger for strong candidates to support in what is likely the most conservative area of Ohio—let alone the country. Butler County isn’t just a red area within a purple state—it glows red even when the lights are turned off. It’s undeniably conservative and is currently undergoing a shift even further to the right—politically. Shelton, Boehner, and Kasich have proven not nearly conservative enough for our tastes. Sheriff Jones has taken notice and is following the trend. He has come out against Boehner’s performance—which he can do now that there is a leadership change within the Central Committee and our mutual friend Roger Reynolds is running for Boehner’s old seat. That would be an improvement particularly under a Paul Ryan led congress. Without a Paul Ryan type of House Speaker, Reynolds would be too quiet to be effective in such a boisterous town such as Washington D.C. But with Ryan and the Freedom Caucus, Roger would find friends there. Then he could use that big financial brain of his for good.

Donald Trump recognizing that Sheriff Jones is a friend who could offer testimony in favor of aggressive border control issues wanted the sheriff to come to New York to lend some credibility to the billionaires’ presidential platform. But Jones smartly declined. Trump however should not let the story die there. Rather, one way to win Ohio during the upcoming primary would be to win southern Ohio and to do that, Trump would have to get good numbers out of Butler County. So Trump’s people were sniffing in the right direction—they likely didn’t know how hot they were on the key to securing the nomination in Ohio—which is why I’m writing this. Trump needs to listen to Jones, don’t try to take the sheriff to New York, but bring the presidential campaign to Butler County and put the sheriff on the stage before Trump speaks. Then secure the nomination with Jones rowing the boat. Todd Hall is dealing with a leadership change within the party. I know him personally and think he’s a person who can be friendly to a Trump campaign. He’s a fellow developer so there is plenty of common ground with Trump. I don’t think it would take much for those two to become good friends—and I don’t mean just political friends—I mean real friends which would be useful in the future for Trump. There are plenty of people in the mix behind the scenes now in Butler County who could get behind a Donald Trump/Ted Cruz ticket. I mention Ted because he’s at least enough of an insider within the Senate to know how to dig up the needed bodies to assist Trump in getting bills through the legislative process when the going gets tough in 2018 and 2019. So if Trump wants to be president, he needs to come to Butler County several times—and he needs to make friends with Sheriff Jones. Trump needs to stick hard on the immigration issue plugging into the policy and image of the popular Butler County sheriff—who is currently the senior leadership within the Republican Party that is getting much younger and more conservative by the week.

I knew changes were amiss when I was invited to the GOP Christmas Party in Columbus, which is tempting. But I’m not sure I want to swap spit in the shower with a lot of those people just yet. For me it depends on Trump. If my local GOP could get behind Trump, I could get behind them more openly. But if they are going to support losers like Kasich, Bush or Marco Rubio, then forget it. Todd knows how I feel about things. I want a much more aggressive GOP, one that isn’t afraid to shake things up a bit and won’t dance around the press. So with that said let me name the right places for the Trump campaign to speak at, so that his people can plan accordingly knowing that their contact in Butler County needs to be Sheriff Jones.

The best place for Trump to speak would be the Ronald Reagan lodge at Voice of America Park. It’s not big enough to hold Trump’s typical crowds, but it could really show a contrast to Kasich’s latest speech there last year. It’s right in the heart of Butler County and the affluence of the area where donors are looking to bet on a winner. I would also suggest the newly developed Liberty Center. Given the cold conditions that campaigning in Ohio will entail in February and March there are some structures there that could probably do the job of hosting a Trump event. Both of those venues are indoor facilities that could hold hundreds of people not thousands. But, they would look great on television and would be strategically in the back pocket of John Kasich’s money base and support. Kasich couldn’t fill either one of those locations right now if he wanted to. So Trump could exploit that quite dramatically before the election in March.

Then of course there’s a place that would hold the largest crowd and that’s the Marriott North in West Chester, just down the street from Liberty Center. They have 15 event rooms totaling 14,905sf of event space, the largest holding 960 people by itself. If Trump wanted to come to West Chester the government there would like him—enthusiastically. Trump would be in very friendly waters. Then down the road from the Marriott is the wonderful Savannah Center, which has 11 separate event rooms that can hold easily 1700 guests with more that could spill over into other rooms. Trump could land by helicopter at the Butler County Regional Airport just a few miles to the west of the Savannah Center and arrive by motorcade with a very direct path. However, permits to land directly at the point of destination may be an option in West Chester, which is where the Ronald Reagan Lodge, the Marriott, and the Savannah Center all reside.

Trump was right to contact Jones, and the Sheriff is more politically aligned with the New York billionaire than most any other candidate. Nobody else is capable of doing what Jones wants to do with immigration, so there isn’t any downside to the arrangement. The only thing left to do is to come to Butler County and put Jones to work for Trump—and also get the rest of the Republican Party behind him. I’ll say this much. Even though Sheriff Jones is too liberal for me, I would be happy to attend a Trump event with him. And if the Butler County GOP got behind Trump, I might even go to the Christmas Party. I may even support Roger Reynolds for congress. But we are living in times that require vast amounts of courage and the best that we all bring to the table. So let’s give it our best and let the chips fall where they may. I’m ready for a good fight and maybe its time that we stop fighting each other and put a cap on the ass of all these damn Democrats—particularly, Hillary Clinton. Who else is going to beat that lunatic?

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT