This is going to be YUUUUGE!!!
Okay, now that I have the cliches out of the way, I can get to the actual blog post.
First Trump is speaking at 1:00PM today. He’s probably not going to refer to himself as “The Donald”. Then again, I don’t know if ever actually does. Press credentials are needed to get into the actual room. where he’ll be speaking. I think I’ll sit in the press room and watch him on the closed circuit TV. It will be interesting to see what he says and more interesting to see the crowd reaction. Even a luke warm speech will likely be well received. After all, the likely opposition candidate has made her position well known. Hillary is running well to the left to counter Sanders, but I don’t think she’s going go come that much back to the center if she is nominated.
I’m going to make an attempt at live blogging, so stay tuned.
I’ll try to hit the exhibit hall before that, but the crowd is in fact huge today. Saturday is usually the busiest day at the exhibit hall, but it’s hard to see how it could be any more crowded than it is today. It took me ten minutes to get to the parking booth to pay and another five to drive around to the parking lot that wasn’t already full.
This is a, there’s that word again, huge venue. Lot’s of exhibitors are listed in the guide. I’m going to spend a bit less time there overall and a bit more concentrating on the speakers. Which I mentioned yesterday.
Updates to follow.
1242. Getting ready for the speech. I have a couple of updates on items from last year’s show.
I stopped by the Charter Arms booth to see if their guns had ever shown up. Last year Yellow Freight lost the shipment of display guns, including irreplaceable items such as the first gun produced, the 1,000,000 gun produced, special commemorative guns. I asked at the booth and it turned out that the guns were found and delivered on the last day of the show last year. A bit late, but better than having a bunch of collectible and historic (and functioning) guns floating around on the streets of Nashville.
I also stopped by the Remington booth, well one of them, and looked to see what they had on display. Very prominent was the RM380 semi auto. That was introduced last year and is in production. Noticeably absent was the R51 9mm self defense pistol. That was launched with much fanfare a few years ago and crashed about as quickly as the Hindenburg. Everyone who shot or reviewed the gun thought it was a piece of junk. Remington bought back all of the previously sold guns and promised to re engineer the design.
Being the nosy sort I am, I asked about that and was told that it would be re issued once the engineers were happy with the redesigned pistol. Apparently the problems were much more severe than we were being told at last year’s show.
Floor traffic is brisk, to say the least. A couple of exhibitors I spoke with told me that this was the largest exhibit hall that they had ever seen. Saturday being the busiest day of these shows, I can only imagine how crowded the place will be.
Update 1326: No, I didn’t fall asleep. Apparently things are running a bit behind schedule.
Update 1338. Apparently, so many people were trying to get into the hall that it took this long to seat them all. The live video feed has started and the staff in the media room is turning up the volume on the monitors all around the room. The introduction is starting.
There are a a variety of videos playing with NRA members giving testimonials to the NRA. One is speaking about how things fell apart in Venezuela and how she came here.
Speaking of women, the NRA is making a concerted effort to attract women and people of color. Those are two of the fastest growing demographics in shooting, so it makes a lot of sense.
We just got a fifteen minute notice. I’m not sure of what, but I’d guess it’s of Trump’s appearance.
1430: Executive Director Wayne LaPierre gave an animated Wayne LaPierre speech of the kind that he always gives so well.
1440: Chris Cox announces the official NRA endorsement of Donald Trump and introduced him as “The next President of the United States”.
Trump is now speaking and says that he didn’t know that he was receiving the endorsement, made a few comments about being a long time member or the NRA and promised not to let the membership down. He promises to preserve the Second Amendment.
Trump refers to Hillary as “Crooked Hillary Clinton”, and also promised to put the miners back to work in Kentucky.
1445: States he is looking forward to the debates with Hillary Clinton. His tactic in debates is to disrupt the rhythm of his opponent. Which violates the rules of debates, but isn’t that what Trump has been doing since day one?
1448: He’s now talking about the Paris terror attacks of last fall. “No guns on the other side, folks.”, in reference to the slaughter of the unarmed civilians. Says that if NRA members were there with guns, it would have been a different story. He actually used the words “Radical Islamic Terrorists”, and criticizes Obama for not being willing to call it what it is. He’s now talking about San Bernadino and says that if “we” had guns, it would have been a different story.
1451: Pledges to get rid of “Gun Free Zones”.
Now he’s talking about teleprompters and how he never uses them. He’s referring to notes in front of him, but seems to have gone off script a few times.
1454: Talking about how weak the military is and how old planes have to be cannibalized for spare parts. Promises to make the military bigger and stronger than ever before and “nobody is going to push us around, nobody”.
1456: Talking about Supreme Court justice appointments. He says it could even be up to five judges over two terms.
He veers off from his notes a lot. Now he’s talking about Hillary’s emails, then segues back to the Second Amendment.
He mentions his list of potential SCOTUS appointments and promises more names. He calls for Clinton to put forth her list of names for SCOTUS. He says that list won’t be good for the people in the room or Americans in general. Mentions that there are over a Million self defense uses of firearms and calls on Clinton and other Democrats to disarm their security people.
1503: He’s now moved on to immigration and mentions his endorsement of the union representing the Border Patrol agents. He’s also talking about criminal aliens and promised “We’re going to straighten it out.”, and again promises to build the wall with Mexico and “We’ll have borders again.”, and legal immigration.
1506: He’s moved (or veered) back to self defense and promises to allow Americans the right to self defense. Mentions that he has a permit to carry a gun and then praises law enforcement for the job they do.
Whoever wrote his speech did some research on the rise in concealed carry permits and how few permit holders are involved in crimes. Mentions again how Hillary has moved to the left of Obama on guns. Trump promises to “unsign” Obama’s executive orders on guns within the first hour of being in office.
Hillary is “not equipped to be President in so many ways”, and that Bernie Sanders should run as an independent.
“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November and the only way to save it is to vote for a person named Donald Trump.”
1510: He promises to renegotiate trade deals to reduce the trade deficit.
1512: “We’re going to knock the hell out of ISIS. We have no choice.”
1513: He finishes up by promising to win everything and of course “Make America great again!”
Lots of applause from the audience and some from the crowd in the press room.
I think this is a preview of how Trump is going to run his campaign. He’s toned down the outrageous comments a bit, but the inner Donald is still there. He’s edgy and that is part of his appeal.
The campaign is going to be very interesting.