Donald Trump’s Visit to the Savannah Center: West Chester becomes the center of a new day in American politics

Trump4Of course it was a spectacular day in West Chester when Donald Trump came to speak at the glorious Savannah Center.  The whole event was born while I was getting yard signs down at the Cincinnati office and happened to meet Robert Scott who is the Ohio State Director for Trump’s campaign.  It should be noted to those who were there how the elements came together the way I suggested they would many months ago—even down to a local Sheriff Jones endorsement and opening speech.  CLICK HERE TO REVIEW.  But it wasn’t so smooth to get it started—there was a lot of looseness of feet needed to make it all happen and I can only say that I was very proud of all the people it took to pull the event off, starting with Robert Scott.  I don’t normally get very excited about these kinds of events, and I hate the security, and formality—but for this occasion I was willing to put that all aside so that Donald Trump could make one last big impression in Ohio prior to the March 15th vote where he is poised to beat Governor Kasich..  

It was surreal all day on Saturday, just 24 hours ahead of the big town hall with Trump. John Boehner had come out with an endorsement of Governor Kaisch, which was understandable.  After all, that was John’s golf buddy who famously lost to Barack Obama and Joe Biden in that now illustrious golf game in 2011 where the four played each other in the way that the game is really played.  It wasn’t so much about who hit the ball in the hole with the fewest strokes—it was who gained leverage over all future deals between Obama’s desires and Speaker Boehner’s.  Obama clearly won. Boehner became a lapdog for the president while Kasich betrayed us all, including the Ohio legislature and chained our state to Obamacare ignoring the Health Care Freedom Amendment that was passed just a few years prior by the same people who put the governor in power in 2010.  The day was surreal because area republicans were obviously not supportive of the arrival of Trump to their bastion of conservativism—Butler County.  Area GOP leaders would have rolled in the mud like pigs at the trough if Mitt Romney were coming, but Donald Trump represents all the things that they fear.  For instance, when Trump plays golf with whomever in the future as President, you can bet that the GOP won’t be losing on the deal the way Boehner and Kasich did. That is precisely why with only 24 hours of advanced notice the venue at the Savannah Center filled to a bulging crowd without any official backing by area GOP members.  I get emails from the GOP about every time some politician sneezes–looking for money or time—but there was nothing about Donald Trump put out by the party ahead of the Savannah Center Town Hall.  If I had not been close to the situation—I wouldn’t have known until after it happened.  Even so there were lines over a mile long in the drizzling rain and most people couldn’t get in–and those people showed up three hours early–and still couldn’t get inside. Trump3

It was a big deal years ago when Mitt Romney came to speak in West Chester roughly just a mile south of where Trump spoke.  I was not excited about Mitt Romney in the least, and I did not attend—even with VIP invites to be there.  I thought he was a lot of what was wrong with politics.  He was another do nothing guy who would show up and speak, then turn away from the microphone and do nothing about anything.  During that speech Kasich was there, Boehner was there, and several popular Republicans from all across the country came to show their support of Mitt Romney.  With Donald Trump—there wasn’t the same type of establishment enthusiasm—and that was precisely why I went out of my way to attend—because this speech from Trump was different.

That is not to say that Trump didn’t have GOP support from winners within the party.  Sheriff Jones endorsed Trump, which wasn’t a surprise.  But so did George Lang, the area hero who has managed to create a wonderful business environment in West Chester making it one of the finest communities in the nation with such a large demographic population.  Lang did it with all the means that any defender of capitalism should, and it shows.  The Savannah Center is a representation in many ways of Lang’s rise within the Republican Party.  It is a practical place built during his tenure as an area trustee—yet it’s opulent to best represent the community it is in the center of.  It has a feeling of hope within it—and in many ways Donald Trump and the Savannah Center were made for each other.  After a series of hard rallies where communist insurgents sought to derail Donald Trump ahead of securing the presidential nomination, the Savannah Center and the crowd was an obvious relief for him—and a chance to really put a period at the end of the sentence as to why he should win Ohio ahead of Kasich.  It looked great on television and represented our community to the nation in a really spectacular way,  and the GOP leaders who normally run everything didn’t play a part in its fruition at all.  Which is why they win a lot of elections but do absolutely nothing once they obtain the seats—and is why such a large venue was able to fill up just by word of mouth in favor of Trump.Trump 2

The crowd which gathered up to well over a thousand inside for a “small” town hall experience was poised with so much pent-up energy that I hadn’t seen such a thing since I was at the football game where the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Seattle Seahawks in OT during the regular season.  In Cincinnati with regard to the Reds baseball team and the Bengals football team, we have become all too accustomed to losing in critical moments.  The GOP in southern Ohio reflects that trend unfortunately.  People get excited about things, but often get let down at the end—just like the quadruple overtime game that the UC basketball team played against UConn on Friday—where the Bearcats just ran out of gas. 

Cincinnati fans of politics and sports have witnessed so many near misses that they get rapturously excited when they begin to taste victory—but are always a bit reserved expecting to be let down at the end.  For them, seeing Donald Trump in person was just too much to handle—and they were obviously emotional about it.  Trump is a winner and that in itself is something to behold.  He may not win every single time he does something but what’s different about him is that he “expects” to win.  That presence was even more intense in person than it was on television.  Trump loves to win, and gives off an impression that he expects it in everything he does—which is very unique for any person over 60 years of age.  Trump at nearly 70 has the energy of a teenage kid—and the swagger of one who has never yet lost and learned to accept it.  Trump is obviously an unconquered soul who has not yielded in life to defeat—and the crowd knew it.  They went way out of their way to be near such energy—and that enthusiasm was certainly on full display at the Savannah Center.Trump 1

It was a good day for West Chester not only because a presidential candidate came to our town to solicit votes—but because Trump is a massive celebrity who is on the front of a movement against traditional politics for the preservation of our country.  For a community and Cincinnati in general, it was a chance for our friends and neighbors to actually be near a person who expects to win in everything he does—and that was exciting.  I remember the Kasich rally that was conducted at the Ronald Reagan building just a few miles to the north from where Trump spoke.  That was a fairly small room and Kasich couldn’t even fill that—and he is the current governor.  I was at another event with Kasich in 2011 and the fields of Carriage Hill in Liberty Township were filled with cars eager to hear him speak.  But Kasich lost a series of important issues starting with that golf game with Obama—and the writing was on the wall.  Governor Kasich was just another do nothing politician who talked a good game, but couldn’t deliver in the end.  Kasich in the same area couldn’t fill up a McDonald’s let alone the Savannah Center—and that is precisely why Donald Trump coming to West Chester was such a big deal. 

Because even with a skeptical crowd used to hearing a lot of tough talk but always being let down at the very end—Trump is different.  People were able to be near him—which they needed.  And by the look on his face—I think he needed it too.  For a few short hours during an emerging spring a battered warrior candidate for President of the United States and a skeptical public fed off each other for the better.  And a new dawn for America broke just above the horizon—and we all had a sense that soon that bright sun would be high in the sky with a scorching heat and that America would be great again—because Donald Trump for a change would be at the front to inspire victory where nobody previously thought it was even remotely possible.

Rich Hoffman


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