It was the last night of our beach house and Donald Trump was on the television.
If we watched anything on TV during the week, it had been the slow train wreck that was the Washington Nationals, but tonight it was Trump.
He was in Alabama and he drew a big crowd.
Michelle, one of our beach house participants, was from Alabama and she helpfully pointed out that Trump picked a good week to go to Mobile. Not much happening in Mobile this time of year, down there.
Why not see the man who made “The Apprentice” interesting television, especially when it was a free event.
Trump's speech was a series of disjointed one-liners lacking any real coherence.
I’m somebody who likes structure in a speech. I like to know or at least have a good idea when a speech is going to end. Structure gives you that certainty.
I never like it at Mass when the priest just wings a homily. And I don’t like it when a politician just talks endlessly about himself and not at all about how to solve the problems facing this nation.
Trump’s sermon was a combination of a sermon and a sideshow without any structure.
But I will give him some credit. At least he didn’t speak politician.
If there is one thing they really love in Alabama, it is somebody who is not politically correct.
And Trump is anything but politically correct.
But unlike Bill Maher, who once had a comedy show on ABC called “Politically Incorrect," Trump’s political incorrectness comes from the right and not the left.
Maher skewered religion. Trump skewers Hispanics.
Skewering God in Alabama is bad politics in the South. Skewering immigrants is bad politics everywhere else but the South.
Trump’s language is salty, but like the air at the beach, sometimes salty can be refreshing.
The one thing that Trump doesn’t do is talk down to his audience. He doesn’t talk about HR 34 or things like common core. He also doesn’t pander on issues like abortion or gay marriage.
He talks about his friend Carl Icahn and how he is going to be the best negotiator the world has ever seen.
He speaks in superlatives in ways that seem to me to be a self-parody. But his position in the polls is no joke, I guess.
Trump is the first New Yorker and non-evangelical to get so much support in a place like Alabama in our nation’s history. We will see how long this lasts.
Bernie Sanders, a Brooklyn Jew, is making huge strides in South Carolina at the expense of Hillary Clinton. My friends, maybe the South is changing.
Trump’s greatest assets this early in the race are that he is famous and rich. He doesn’t consult with political gurus, and he makes stuff up as he goes along. But he has had a real gift for making news that the GOP base hungers for.
His every gaffe has turned into gold, his every fight has turned to his advantage.
And as I was watching his speech last Friday night, I was both bemused and horrified. Is this where are politics are really going?
I am a political fundamentalist. I don’t believe polls this early. I believe that candidates who have the best experience, the best message and the best resources usually win political campaigns.
I am not ready to concede that Donald Trump is a real force to be reckoned with. But I admit that I could be wrong on that front.
John Feehery publishes his Feehery Theory blog at http://www.thefeeherytheory.com/.