By Mark Weyermuller -
President-Elect Donald Trump continued his "Thank You Tour" with a stop in Wisconsin last Tuesday evening, and I made the trip to cover it in person. The event was held at the state fairgrounds just outside of Milwaukee. Some are calling the series of events a "victory lap." My crowd estimate was around 5000, with people parking up to a mile away.
The President-Elect was joined on stage by Vice President Elect Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Congressman Paul Ryan, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Governor Scott Walker, State Senator Scott Fitzgerald, and Congressman Sean Duffy. The background behind the podium included six Christmas trees.
The evening started with a prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke led speeches celebrating the Trump victory then turning on the attacks against the media, Democrats, along with mocking people especially those who talk about Russian hacking.
I arrived about five hours early so I could park close, not knowing how many thousands might show up. When I got there, I counted 600 people in line with a couple from Nebraska in the very front. They had arrived at 3:00 am Tuesday morning so they could be first in the door. The temperatures hovered around 10 degrees as the doors opened around 4:00pm for the 7:00pm start time.
I was fortunate enough to obtain press credentials allowing me to enter early at a separate entrance. I was right behind John Roberts from Fox News, who was just appointed (promoted) as chief White House correspondent. I worked with #RedNationRising (http://rednationrising.us) to gain access. It is a national Twitter-based news source which started with a single tweet. The Trump campaign recognizes the importance of social media and the "new" media. Many people feel the old main stream media is becoming less relevant.
Also in line behind me were several reporters and cameramen from CNN. One told me that they were told not to wear any CNN logos as to not draw the ire of Trump supporters. They also had their own additional security. This news station has been accused of being anti-Trump, biased, and even of creating "fake news." One man inside had his own professionally printed sign which read "CNN SUCKS." He was quite popular as people lined up to take pictures with him.
Donald Trump spoke for close to an hour, opening by saying "Merry Christmas." He continued by saying he was there for one main reason, to say "Thank you to the people of Wisconsin."
He touched on a variety of topics including building the wall. He said his administration will concentrate on three main things, "Jobs, jobs, jobs." Trump spent quite a bit of time talking about the media saying they were, "Very dishonest people." The crowd continued to turn to grimace at the media area in back which included 34 camera crews.
Trump told a long story of election night pretending to be a news anchor saying, "Breaking news, Trump just won Florida, Trump just won Ohio, Trump just won Iowa." After a long build up, he said, "Just in breaking news, Trump has just won Wisconsin." This brought a huge ovation from the crowd.
Trump talked alot about "winning." He took some mild jabs at Paul Ryan saying he was similar to "a fine wine." Ryan did not support Trump initially, but seems to coming around.
All in all, this group of supporters was excited to see Donald Trump in person. His victory tour continued to Pennsylvania with nearly 10,000 attending that event. There are just 34 days till the inauguration on January 20, 2017 in Washington DC. I might see you there.
Mark Weyermuller is a small business person, real estate professional, and conservative activist in Chicago. He is a citizen journalist and regular contributor to Illinois Review. Mark can be heard weekly on the radio in a "man on the street segment" at 10:31pm as a regular guest on the Stephanie Trussell Show heard Sunday nights 9pm-midnight on WLS 890-AM.