Over the course of his 18 months campaigning for the Presidency, Donald Trump traversed the country, attracting tens of thousands to his famously raucous rallies. People would wait on lines, sometimes for hours, to hear him speak.
If you watched any of these rallies, as I did, streaming online or airing on cable news, you would’ve observed that instead of a stump speech, Trump relished the riff. It was, and remains, his only actual asset: a knack for commanding room temperature.
The imposing, orange man from Queens might’ve occasionally meandered or found himself mired in fits of self-aggrandizmemt, but Trump is a shrewd reader-of-rooms. Call it intuition or skillful salesmanship, whenever he seemed to sense crowd’s mood languish, he would shift — precisely on queue, without a care segueway, he would leap unimaginable gulfs to get to his guaranteed crowd-pleaser: that stupid, fucking wall.
To be fair, you almost couldn’t blame him — his signature policy promise and a blood-boiling rallying cry; that border wall with Mexico was the hit song that the audience came to the concert to hear.*
“We’re going to do a wall; we’re going to have a big, fat beautiful door on the wall; we’re going to have people come in, but they’re going to come in legally…”
Trump the candidate made countless incendiary promises but the border wall was the heart of his campaign.