Monday, February 17, 2020


President Trump's campaign persuaded him to make an appearance at the Daytona 500 yesterday. Trump was the race's grand marshal -- an honor bestowed in recent years on such luminaries as ... um, Owen Wilson, James Franco, and Nicolas Cage.

Trump's presence annoyed some fans.
Many complained of the long lines, delays, and other aspects exacerbated by Trump's attendance.

"We would like a refund," one first time attendee said according to ABC News. "My feet are sore. I've been standing in that line for three hours. I paid $100 to stand in line for three hours, and that's not a good thing. We got water, but there's no place to go to the bathroom. It's definitely very unorganized."

"This is really ridiculous," another added. "All the people pay for this thing and it's holding them up. We paid extra to get in here and we're not getting to enjoy it."
But coverage in the right-wing press would put North Korean propaganda to shame. Here's a post at PJ Media:
NASCAR fans got the show of the century on Sunday at the Daytona 500 when the grand marshal of the event, President Donald J. Trump, made his entrance by buzzing the Daytona International Speedway in Air Force One—only 800 feet off the racetrack. Announcers called it "one of the most incredible things" ever seen....

"I've been to a lot of Daytona 500s, but never have I felt [this] excitement and energy...we've got the president landing right now!" said one of the announcers. No president has ever been the grand marshal of the Daytona 500. Look at this photo!

This photo, we now know, wasn't of Trump's plane -- it's President George W. Bush's plane when he appeared at Daytona in 2004.
President Donald Trump's campaign manager ... Brad Parscale tweeted the 2004 photo, which shows Air Force One rising above packed stands at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and wrote, ".@realDonaldTrump won the #Daytona500 before the race even started."

The tweet stayed online for about three hours, drawing at least 6,700 retweets and 23,000 likes before it was deleted. Users identifying themselves as Trump supporters replied with messages like "Amazing shot wow" and "WOW WHAT A SHOT!!!!!!!!!"

But the photo was taken by photographer Jonathan Ferrey on February 15, 2004, after Bush's visit to the racetrack, as Air Force One took off from the adjacent Daytona Beach International Airport.
Trump hates the Bush family. Does he know that his campaign manger tweeted a photo of W's plane and said it was Trump's? Does he realize that this flyover bears a strong resemblance to W's "Mission Accomplished" photo op in 2013? Is he aware that the Daytona Speedway has a strong connection to the Bush family? Three Bushes have appeared there, at either the Daytona 500 or the Pepsi 400, as the Orlando Sentinel reported in 2000.
The third political figure in the famed Bush family will take his seat in the pace car at this year's Pepsi 400 NASCAR race July 1.

Presidential candidate and two-term Texas Gov. George W. Bush will give the "start your engines" command and then lead the pack of drivers in a lap around the Daytona International Speedway's tri-oval track, speedway spokeswoman Kathy Catron said.

"He's the last on our list of Bushes," Catron said Friday. "We'd already had President George Bush here as grand marshal in 1992 and Gov. Jeb Bush here in 1998."

The senior Bush also served as honorary starter for the Daytona 500 in February 1983 when he was vice president.
Poopy Bush was also the grand marshal at the Daytona 500 in 1978, when he was CIA director (and planning a presidential run in 1980).

More gush from PJ Media:
There were rumors all week that the president would also take a lap in The Beast [Trump's presidential limousine] before the race. Shortly after the AF1 flyover, he did just that....

But he didn't just want to drive around the track—the president paced the field ahead of the competitors too.

(Is that really awesome? They're driving at what appears to be normal speed. What am I missing?)

Trump made a speech. He said, "Gentlemen, start your engines." He claimed he wanted to "get in the race if possible." (He didn't.)
America's most popular sport just had an epic day!
Is NASCAR really "America's most popular sport"? Attendance at NASCAR races has been declining for years, as Sports Illustrated noted in 2019.
Last Sunday’s Food Series 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) drew just 38,000 fans (track seats 162,000) and Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway didn’t fare any better; no more than 40% of the venue’s 51,000 seats were occupied.... Gate attendance has been a problem for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series all season. The Daytona 500 was the only race among the first 9 to sell-out.
And even for the Daytona 500, TV attendance has been dropping.

And after all that Trump strutting, the race was rained out and will have to be concluded today.


No comments: