Donald Trump loves to brag that he can draw a larger crowd than any other American political figure. Of course, in the age of COVID-19, that’s not exactly a good thing, because getting large groups of people together for any purpose is not a great idea, especially if the majority of them aren’t wearing protective masks or practicing social distancing.
So it probably won’t surprise you to learn that when Trump showed up in Rochester, Minnesota, Friday evening, his ego took a major hit when he looked out and saw such a sparse collection of humanity.
Minnesota, you see, has a standing health order prohibiting crowds larger than 250 people, and the one in Rochester was significantly smaller than 250.
Reporters who were at the Minnesota rally noted that the president appeared to be “very tired” and cut his speech short, only speaking for about 20 minutes. His rally speeches are usually up to 90 minutes long.
Monica Alba of NBC News noted:
President Trump only spoke for 21 (!) minutes at this smaller event in Rochester, MN tonight. Can’t remember him ever speaking for less than 45 minutes at a rally but this was restricted to only 250 people due to coronavirus safety guidelines and Trump was not pleased. https://t.co/5VXPX1qmMz
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) October 30, 2020
ABC News producer John Santucci had this take on the rally:
Not even a half hour ! I’ve never seen Trump look less interested https://t.co/G21ImftINL
— John Santucci (@Santucci) October 30, 2020
And Eli Stokols of The Los Angeles Times filed this:
This is about half his average speech length, and he often goes much longer when he’s into the crowd (nearly 90 min in Tampa yesterday). https://t.co/XIhgjgBe65
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) October 30, 2020
Vox’s Aaron Rupar added that Trump was very “low energy”:
Wow — Trump cuts short a low energy performance in Rochester, Minnesota, after less than 30 minutes of speaking. pic.twitter.com/lNjzGtBLmJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 30, 2020
The Minnesota rally and how Trump reacted is proof of two two things: Trump is only in this for himself, and his act has grown old and stale, even for him.