On Wednesday, President Donald Trump visited a fire station in West Palm Beach, Florida. You probably missed it because the week between Christmas and New Years is a total news dead zone.
But! This was a classic of the Trump speech genre -- and well worth your time.
Below, I picked out the 17 best lines from Trump's address. Enjoy!
1. "How's the media? Good? Everyone good?"
You good over there? You? Everybody happy? And yes, this line of course belies the idea pushed by Trump and his supporters that he hates the media. Far from it. He craves their attention -- and approval.
2. "We're giving you a lot of equipment. We're giving you a lot of help. You know, we've opened it up."
Hmmmm. This seems broadly in keeping with Trump's assertion that he -- and he alone -- has made police, the military and, I guess, firefighters -- better equipped? As to "we've opened it up," your guess is as good as mine.
3. "This is real power over here, right? This is real power."
Absolutely. Everyone knows this. Power.
4. "How are your 401(k)s doing, pretty well?"
This is part of a back-and-forth with a participant -- who, presumably, is a firefighter. Trump, as always, asks about the 401(k) because, well, why not? It's also his way of touting the health of the US economy during his time in office.
5. "So the country is really -- you have a big, big, beautiful ship that we're turning around."
OK, so the US is like a ship. A big, beautiful one. With prominent Trump branding. And large amounts of gilding.
6. "They didn't want them to use the military equipment. Somebody will explain why. But now you have the best military equipment, and you're able to use it for the police force."
Trump, here, is referencing the backlash over the past decade or so to the militarization of local police forces. The "they" is, presumably, either the Obama administration or liberals more broadly. And Trump is right in that he has reversed that policy; he has ensured that excess military equipment goes to state and local police forces.
7. "The job you do with the fire has been incredible."
Ah yes, the fire. And the job done with said fire.
8. "Hopefully with the media surrounding us, they'll understand exactly what's happening because we want to give these people credit for the great job they do."
A line that matters. What Trump is suggesting is that the media doesn't appreciate what first responders, police and firefighters actually do. And that journalists don't give these professions enough credit. Which, it's worth noting, is not accurate.
9. "Now I'll go back to Palm Beach, and you go back and also watch yourselves on television, huh? We created some stars in here, chief. You know that, right?"
For Trump, everything -- and I mean everything -- is regarded through the lens of TV. And being a "star." Because you are on TV.
10. "We have signed more legislation than anybody -- we broke the record of Harry Truman."
Nope! Trump says this a lot. But repeating it doesn't make it true. Trump signed 96 pieces of legislation in 2017. Truman signed more than 250. (Trump did sign the second-most bills into law -- behind Truman -- in his first 100 days in office.)
11. "That's the legislation of all legislation, that's the biggest there is."
Trump is talking about the tax bill. Which everyone knows is the granddaddy of them all. The one bill to rule them all, the one bill to find them. The one bill to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
12. "So yeah, we're going to take care of it."
Shorter Trump: I got this.
13. "They were saying that if we got this one done, we would have succeeded with legislation."
14. "We have more legislation passed, including the record -- was Harry Truman. That's a long time ago. And we broke that record. So we have a lot done."
Again, nope! (see #10).
15. "We have the all-time record for stopping ridiculous regulations, and we're very proud of that record."
This isn't wrong. It's also not right. It's just impossible to prove whether Trump has some sort of regulation-cutting record. Or if a record like that even exists or could exist. The Washington Post's Fact Checker explains it all here.
16. "The stock market hit a new high 84 times since we won the election on November 8th of last year."
17. "You love this stuff, right? Huh? That's good."
I do. I really, really do.
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