I always enjoy being invited to these exclusive political events because it gives me a chance to spend time with good people who generally want the same things I do, a good life for everyone in America intent on a philosophy to take us all there. I didn’t know it at the time but learned later that the guy behind me was the prosecutor for Butler County, a well-known hard nose no-nonsense guy named Michael Gmoser. It was 25 degrees at the Lunken Airport and security was heavy as they checked us through the reception area of a hanger awaiting the arrival of President Trump on a visit to Cincinnati, Ohio. Michael and I spoke like a couple of guys who had a million of other things to do than to stand in the cold to await watching a plane land and to shake hands with the occupant. We both agreed that we’d only do such a thing for Donald Trump because history was literally being made every day of his presidency and he was worth the extra effort. After I learned that he was the prosecutor for my county, I understood his temperament. Most of the people in the crowed of invited guests were a little star struck of having the opportunity to meet a sitting president, but Michael Gmoser was a practical man who had a lot of people demanding time of him—but for just a few hours out of a Monday afternoon on a cold February in Ohio we took a moment to let history wash over us. Here is my video footage from the vantage point of an insider at the event—a side that most people would never get from the media. I think you’ll find it very interesting dear reader.
As I watched media coverage of this Trump occurrence later the same day they all missed the point, from the local news to the national news. As Trump stepped out of Air Force One to an enthusiastic crowd who had been awaiting him in the bone cracking cold the media rushed to position themselves for coverage, yet they all missed the mark. It’s not just because I was better positioned for the coverage, but because my vantage point of a long time Trump supporter made my footage better for the inquiring mind wondering why this president was so loved by his supporters. I was right at the edge of the fencing immediately next to the press platform, so I knew there would be media interviews from reporters working the line. Ironically, they all wanted to talk to my wife for a change—and she did a nice job. But no reporter really understood what was happening and thus had no clear way to present their material to an editor, or to the general public.
I can honestly say that every Trump event I’ve been to has been a very unique experience—he brings out in people the best and most enthusiastic hopes they might have at any given moment—it’s a rock star quality that isn’t typically associated with political figures. I remember how enthusiastic everything was way back in the Ross Perot days. I remember as well helping with the Bob Dole campaign in 96. I remember when George W. Bush came to town to turn the Museum Center into the Hall of Justice from the Justice League. I remember Barack Obama. I remember when Al Gore came to Cincinnati and stood in the flooding waters of the Ohio River as if to make climate change more of an issue of his visit—while he was still vice president under Clinton. Everything with Trump is different. I was happy to see that many of the young Republicans from Miami University were all around me. We let the girls up to the fence because they were shorter and I could easily film over their heads. Some of them had life changing moments that day, you could hear it in their voices. They had an opportunity to shake the hand of the president and they couldn’t contain their excitement.
On the video you can hear the voice of a long time Republican operative say, “Holy cow, is she gorgeous” when Melania was stepping down the steps of Air Force One. Then you could hear the young lady next to her who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old declare, “He’s gorgeous,” referring to the almost 72-year-old President Trump. Here were women from opposite ends of femininity commenting on their enthusiasm for seeing the President and First Lady in person and the energy that came from the exchange. I don’t blame the media for not understanding, even though they were virtually five feet from my position. But to really understand Trump you have to really talk to the people who were invited to this event—people who had worked hard to get him elected president and were proud of their hard work manifested before their eyes.
To Trump’s credit he could have easily have come out of Air Force One and entered into the car waiting for him in the harsh cold. The car could have driven over to where the crowd had gathered, and he could have waved and many people would have been happy to just see that. But, as was clear in the video, which wasn’t covered by any news outlet that I saw, Trump and his team complete with Melania Trump, Rob Portman and Jim Renacci elected to walk over 100 yards from Air Force One to the crowd I was in to greet him. He really didn’t have to do it, but he did it anyway and in live time it was something to see. The enthusiasm was obvious.
Spectators of all this might say that it was a friendly crowd to Trump, and that Trump is a charismatic character who loves the spotlight—but I’d say its far more complicated than that. For me the event of the day was watching Air Force One land at Lunken knowing that the people around me—all who contributed mightily to Trump’s election in Ohio helped make that reality possible. I’d attribute it to giving birth—the Trump presidency was like giving birth to a new age in politics and we were all the proud parents. It was pride I felt in watching the plane taxi to its resting place knowing what transpired in the trenches to make that happen—and that was something the media there just couldn’t get their minds around. It wasn’t just the rock star status of a president and his wife there before us, it was the pride of playing a part in making something very special happen and that everyone seemed to appreciate the gravitas of that moment—including the president.
The guy next to me was very cool, he was the official pilot of Jim Renacci and had told me while we waited for Trump that he had been to over 20 Trump rallies during the campaign. He was proud as could be to attend this little gathering of over 200 supporters, and to get a fist bump from Trump himself. Here was a grown man who had literally seen it all—he had globetrotted all over the world, and he was reduced to a kid happy to get a simple handshake by Trump. As was clear in the video, Trump took his time shaking hands with everyone who wanted to. Even though the Secret Service indicated no selfies, Trump did give some out. It was an amazing performance. And Melania Trump was gorgeous, stunning really. Not just physically, but she is a person who has emerged into her role with the poise of a genuinely sincere person who was using her position for the best possible good. That was the first time I’ve seen her in person and she was quite a stunning figure to say the least. She and my wife are the same age and Melania made eye contact with her with a nice little smile and a wave to see a kindred spirit looking back at her from the other side of the fence. It was a very strange moment of humanity that had the tapestries of magnificence—but instead of being seduced by the pomp—the temperament was mutual appreciation. Neither my wife and I are autograph or handshake types. I just like good quality people and it was nice to have such a collection of high quality people present and to be entirely honest, as I did have a million and one other things I needed to do that day—I was glad to go to this event just to see two good people in the President and his wife at the eye of a massive global storm handling everything the kind of poise that is excessively respectable and encouraging. All the hard work over the last few years was certainly worth it, and the cold and sacrifice of that day was the exclamation point at the end of a long declarative sentence. The Trumps are people just like the rest of us, made of the same flesh and bone that comes and goes with the ages. What makes them and us different is that the spirit of our ambitions together and apart has lit the world ablaze with ambition once again that time will not soon forget, and that was a wonderful enchantment.
Even if I didn’t get to meet the president and finally see in person Jim Renacci whom I am very excited for to become the next United States Senator representing Ohio, it was great to be around so many normal people collected in one place. I have no problem functioning in the world at large, but I am most happy with people who have passions that drive them in the world, people like Michael Gmoser, Renacci’s pilot (I wished I had gotten his name), the many great young Republicans from Miami University, the young kids dressed respectfully in suits for the occasion and the hundreds of other people I’ve come to know from various liberty minded events all over Ohio during the last decade. There were no millennials covered in body piercings, or other liberal lunatics present—no slack jawed hippies or anti-capitalist drug addicts, only the good people of solid conservatism that has emerged in the age of Trump. Most of all, it was a lot of good work by Ann Becker to be at the middle of so many roads that she juggles better than any circus act which brought so many paths together. I’m not sure even she understands her role in all this, but without her—I doubt that plane would have ever landed at Lunken airport carrying those fine people aforementioned above. We all play our part in the grand fortissimo of this epic journey, but I give her a lot of credit for navigating the ship through some of the roughest waters. If Odysseus had the benefit of Ann Becker as his navigator in the great literary Odyssey during the ancient year of 8th century B.C., the book would have been about one-page long.
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