TRUMP STUMPS SELLOUT CROWD IN LAS VEGAS

Greetings sports fans and welcome to a special Friday morning edition of Vegas Valley Sports Beat. Spanning the globe to bring you a constant variety of sports. The thrill of victory and the agony of me feet.

Turning our attention then to the wide wide world of politics and my first ever Presidential rally which was held Thursday night at the Las Vegas Convention Center which coincidentally I helped build when I was a member of Ironworkers Local 433 and this would be the first time I had been in the building since it was under construction in the late 90’s. Returning, now a structural steel /bolt & welding inspector was nice and I did see some of my handiwork in the main hall where the rally was held. I also worked on the pedestrian bridge over Las Vegas Boulevard right in front of the building.

I went with my very good friend, James who is a semi-retired Pharmacist from Texas and a staunch Trump supporter from day 1. Anticipating the traffic would be murderous downtown with the President coming. My editor even expressed concern, but we left Pahrump as Air Force 1 was leaving Washington D.C. and beat Trump to Vegas by about an hour. We left the car in valet at the MGM Grand and took the monorail to the Convention Center arriving just before 4 pm when the doors were scheduled to open. The rally was scheduled for 7.

The monorail station is located just to the left of the front entrance so in no time flat we were waiting in the station but not for long as the trains arrive every eight minutes. Visitors to Las Vegas must surely have been very pleased by how cleanly the stations were and the ease of reaching the trains and boarding. The staff should be commended for the long extra hours and effort they put in this week to help make this event run smoothly and moving many thousands in and then out again.

We made 2 new friends on the train who were as lost as we were but we all made it to the Convention Center in near-record time to find a line that was not only anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile long but it seemingly had no end but ran in a continuous loop from one end of the complex to the other. An officer told us to go one way but someone else said no go that way so we finally just gave up and fell into place where we happened to be and to their credit nobody minded at all so we started out somewhere near what might have been the middle. Or the end. For all we knew, we were either at the front of the line for the rally or last in line for the restrooms.

Happily, the latter was not the case and the restrooms were easily accessible and clean and there was never a line in front of any of them that I saw. The housekeeping staff at the Convention Center also deserve recognition for the outstanding job they did keeping the grounds and buildings neat and clean.

The best part of the whole trip certainly was not the heat which was mild by comparison to July it was the people themselves and to be there was a genuine blessing. I voted for Hillary but Hillary lost. My allegiance is to the flag and the Republic for which it stands so I went as a reporter instead and observed.

Many, like myself, wondered aloud where all the protestors might be on such a fine day but the only one I actually did see was a lone young gentleman who had a cardboard sign which read, “Abortion Is Murder,” in crude lettering. By then we were near the security checkpoint and a very lovely Secret Service agent about my own age walked over to the window in front of where the man was and she took his picture. When I looked again the protestor was gone. Perhaps he opted for greener pastures? I can only assume, however; no officers accosted the gentleman.

Other than that one incident the entire mood of the crowd was friendly, respectful, and neighborly. I spoke with a number of the people around me in the ever-shifting crimson tide of a river of red MAGA hats whose numbers grew by the minute as vendors hawked Trumpware by the dozens. I felt like I was close to being over-dressed for the occasion in a gray tweed sports coat, T-shirt,  old Levis, and my trusty dusty cowboy boots because nobody really got dressed up except the politicians and the Secret Service agents.

It was more of a come-as-you-are party and not at all what I half expected but everything I hoped for in terms of the overall atmosphere. Democrats and even certain media outlets would have you believe that any given dozen of President Trump’s supporters cannot collect a full set of either teeth or brain cells between them, or that most of them think the Capital of Poland is $4.95.

They are also (according to Liberals, Dems, etc) racist, cross burning  Nazi lunatics but I didn’t see any evidence to support their contentions. What I did see, and the people I spoke with were people just like myself. Just regular folks. There were many Vietnam veterans in attendance along with other service veterans including a World War 2 vet who was given honors and seated in the front row.

Jim decided he wanted to sit in the stands of which there were few and the usher said no at first but relented and we watched the rest of the rally from in front of the big US flag which everyone pledged allegiance to.

As soon as we found a seat we met California Congressional candidate, Russell Lambert and had a chance to chat with him a bit while we waited for the festivities to begin. My impression of Russell Lambert is that he is going to be a great Congressman and work like a Marine for the state of California.

Russell Lambert graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1982. He attended Los Angeles Valley College from 1982 to 1985, majoring in business. He graduated from the U.S. Marine boot camp in 1985 and the Naval Aviation Avionics School in 1986. In 1992 he attended Advanced Logics Mortgage Banking School and in 1993 he went to Broadfield Associates Business Economics School. He graduated from the FEMA Incident Command in 2013 and began U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Lifesaving, and Prevention training in 2010. He served in the Marine Corps from 1982 to 1992. Lambert’s career experience includes working as a fraud investigator supervisor. 

A very lovely young woman sang a beautiful rendition of The National Anthem to well-deserved applause, but the coolest part, I think, was when everyone recited The Lord’s Prayer in one voice to open the rally in prayer.

A few local politicians spoke before the President came out but when they were all through and everyone was waiting for Trump to appear it turns out that he was behind everyone giving an interview to Sean Hannity on Fox News.

I have a hot smoking news flash for Hannity and for Mister Trump. Sean Hannity flew into Vegas and likely took a limo to the Convention Center. Hannity sees the President and talks to him all the time. A sold-out crowd stood out in the heat some of them all day long waiting to see the President and he has the nerve to turn his back on the voters and give Hannity an interview that he could have done at any time?

I for one certainly did not appreciate that at all. Both Fox News and Mr. Sean Hannity can kiss my big fat ass-istant. Oh yeah, I just remembered that I don’t have an assistant. Darn it.

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Easily the funniest moment of the evening came when President Trump was speaking about Las Vegas and our sports teams in particular.  When Trump mentioned the Golden Knights there was thunderous applause but when he mentioned the Las Vegas Raiders coming what almost started out to be cheers turned into a lot of booing. All day people had been chanting, “Lock her up, lock her up, lock her up! Meaning Hillary Clinton.

As the booing got louder and louder somebody behind us began chanting Lock them up lock them up and the joke quickly spread through the Convention hall like wildfire through a dry wheat field until everyone began to laugh including the President.

You have to admit that was pretty funny.

What was almost funnier was the way the President lit right into, “Wacky Jackie” Rosen but President Trump was especially critical of the members of the “fake press” that were all covering his speech from a nice raised platform set up just for them but I know in some cases he is telling the truth if not then in all cases. I honestly cannot call that one.

Overall the experience was unique and quite enjoyable if not enlightening. I have never seen a President before sitting or otherwise and neither had Jim. As we left the building we ran into our two friends we met on the way in and we all rode back to the MGM Grand together so it really was a great day.

If MAGA people are deplorable and “the dregs of society,” then count me in too. However you lean whomever you prefer in office for whatever reason, get out in November and cast your ballot and may the best man, woman, or whatever win.

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