“Why would I pay $60 to go see some band I don’t really like when I could go hear Trump speak for free tonight?” I asked one of my friends yesterday before the Trump rally in Charlotte, NC. Given Trump’s track record, I knew that there was a pretty good chance that he would say something that might blow up in the media. My friends in Wake the Vote that went to a Trump rally in New Hampshire said that it was unlike any political rally they had ever been to.
So with that being said, I had to go. After all, I have been to an event for almost every other major candidate in the 2016 election. Trump was the last person I needed to check off of my list.
When I arrived at the Convention Center in uptown Charlotte, there were many vendors selling homemade Trump gear, just like the vendors at the RNC. I caved in and bought a Make America Great Again hat. People streamed into the Convention Center and I bet there were at least 3,000 people inside by the time the event started.
I had talked two of my friends into coming with me and we were trying to bet on who would introduce Trump. I was pleasantly surprised when Rudy Giuliani came out as the opener for Trump. After a brief introduction, Trump took the stage. Now as I stood there, I prepared myself to take in whatever extreme comments Trump might slip up and make. Like the RNC, the “build the wall” and “lock her up” chants were popular among the crowd.
As Trump began to talk I started actively listening to his speech and thinking that this seems a lot different than previous speeches I had seen on TV. Everything just seemed to be worded a little better than normal, which makes sense given that his campaign manager was fired the day before. At about five minutes into the speech the biggest kicker of the night occurred. Trump apologized for any of the past comments he had made that offended people. I was shocked that he actually decided to apologize and that it happen to be at the rally I was able to attend.
Now I know what you are thinking. Was it a meaningful apology? Maybe it was, but mostly not, but still the fact that Trump actually owned up to past comments for the first time on the campaign trail was pretty amazing.
So as I walked out of the Convention Center that night, I just thought to myself how you never really know what to expect with Trump. And that’s why these next two months should be quite interesting.