Trump’s two-hour, off-prompter CPAC speech gloriously kicked off his re-election campaign

No matter whether you have two minutes or two hours to spare, you need to catch up on what President Trump said yesterday, for it explains his re-election strategy. If you missed it, I have embedded below the entire 2-hour-and-2 minute-long speech to CPAC yesterday.  But this blog can be your cheat sheet if you are pressed for time.

His impromptu hugging of the American flag as he took the stage was the first indicator of the speech and campaign ahead:

Twitter, via Reason Magazine

President Trump is running on his love for our country and its liberties and traditions. His opponents, like Angry Bernie Sanders, do not. And they can’t help themselves. Yesterday, after the speech, they took the bait, promptly and predictably started violating Godwin’s Law, calling his love of country and respect for its traditions Hitleresque:

The short version: he is forcing his Democrat opponents to defend their crazy ideas and policies, running as a happy warrior defending Americans from those who want to take away our liberties and impoverish us in the name of an imaginary climate catastrophe.

If you haven’t got two hours to spare, Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason Magazine and no Trump fan, has a skeptical but fair take on the speech, and titles it: “Trump Just Might Have Won the 2020 Election Today.”

If Donald Trump is able to deliver the sort of performance he gave today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual meeting of right-wingers held near Washington, D.C., his reelection is a foregone conclusion.

There is simply no potential candidate in the Democratic Party who wouldn't be absolutely blown off the stage by him. I say this as someone who is neither a Trump fanboy nor a Never Trumper. But he was not simply good, he was Prince-at-the-Super-Bowl great, deftly flinging juvenile taunts at everyone who has ever crossed him, tossing red meat to the Republican faithful, and going sotto voce serious to talk about justice being done for working-class Americans screwed over by global corporations.

In a heavily improvised speech that lasted over two hours, the 72-year-old former (future?) reality TV star hit every greatest hit in his repertoire ("Crooked Hillary," "build the wall," "America is winning again," and more all made appearances) while riffing on everything from the Green New Deal to his own advanced age and weird hair to the wisdom of soldiers over generals. At times, it was like listening to Robin Williams' genie in the Disney movie Aladdin, Howard Stern in his peak years as a radio shock jock, or Don Rickles as an insult comic. When he started making asides, Trump observed, "This is how I got elected, by going off script." Two years into his presidency and he's just getting warmed up.

Here is the entire speech:

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