"I'm on the Trump train. He can say whatever he wants. I'm sold, okay?" Trump fan in Michigan
|8/11/15, Birch Run, Mich.|
8/11/15, "Trump fans line up hours ahead of time in Michigan to see 'the Kanye West of politics' as they encourage him: 'Don't let the Republican Party push you around!'" UK Daily Mail, David Martosko, Birch Run, Mich.
"Donald Trump is 'the Kanye West of politics,' an 18-year-old fan of the presidential candidate said...in the shadow of the billionaire's next speech.
Michigan isn't an early primary or caucus state, but Trump will speak to a sold-out crowd at the 2,500-seat Birch Run Expo Center, more than 90 minutes north of Detroit.
It's by no means the biggest audience of the campaign season – Democrat Bernie Sanders drew a reported 28,000 in Portland, Oregon on Sunday – but it may be the largest paying audience to see a presidential candidate speak this year.
This isn't New Hampshire and it isn't Iowa, both crucial early states where Trump holds leads and where politics is an all-encompassing, full-contact sport, what the movies are in Los Angeles.
'I don't think I'd be interested in politics at all if Trump weren't running,' said Logan Pickard in a fast-growing line outside the arena more than five hours before the real estate mogul's speech. 'He's not scared to be a savage!' exclaimed John George, 15 – 'You know what I mean? He'll just come out and say whatever he wants. He's a brutally honest guy.'
George and Pickard came to Birch Run with two other 18-year-olds, Griffin Seguin and Jon Nas. All four told DailyMail.com that The Donald's headline-grabbing political antics have turned their political apathy into a hobby worth pursuing across the state.
Seguin said that if Trump hadn't created a presidential-campaign splash, there's 'zero chance' he would have spent a day of his summer vacation talking about politics.
'I'd be home playing golf right now,' he said. 'He got me interested.'
The Expo Center is situated a stone's throw from I-75, and a giant 'SOLD OUT' video billboard blasted Trump's face and campaign logo to motorists going in both directions.
Truckers honked. The crowd went wild.
'This is a little like a rock concert, one teen girl was heard telling an older woman.
The Republican Parties in Genesee and Saginaw Counties charged $25 for tickets to hear Trump speak as part of their joint 'Lincoln Day' event.
Supporters could pay $132 for VIP tickets with seating close enough to see Trump's signature hair.
Marsha Bodary from Mount Clemens, Michigan was first in line, arriving around noon with signs urging the closure of America's southern border and the deportation of illegal immigrants. She insisted on having her photo taken with them.
'One of my big issues is immigration,' she told DailyMail.com. 'And health care. And ISIS.'
'I'm on the Trump train. He can say whatever he wants. I'm sold, okay?'
The tycoon front-runner has seen critics hammer him for leaving the door open to an independent run for president if he doesn't believe the GOP is treating him fairly.
His party, at present, has little choice: Monday's tracking poll from the Morning Consult showed that he gained 7 percentage points during the week that included last Thursday's contentious debate.
Trump, that poll's numbers show, now commands the support of 32 per cent of registered Republican voters and independents who lean to the political right.
A Suffolk University poll released Tuesday found Trump with a lead in Iowa, the first state to hold precinct caucuses in 2016.
He's registering 17 per cent among likely GOP caucus voters, 5 points ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's 12 per cent showing.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio came in third with 10 per cent, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was just one point behind Walker. The nationwide polling numbers are the leading edge of a Trump spear that is threatening to upend conventional wisdom about American presidential politics in new ways – and could waken a sleeping majority.
'I don't think any of the normal politicians are resonating with anyone, because it's the same old garbage over and over and over,' Rose said.
Her husband Kenneth, a U.S. Army veteran who fixed Cobra helicopters during the Vietnam War, said Trump is 'the only one that inspires me. I think the guy can get the job done.'
Asked to compare Trump's charisma to that of other politicians he's seen in his lifetime, Mr. Rose skipped over Ronald Reagan and went straight to the 44th president.
'Obama, in his first campaign and his first term,' he said.
'Everybody was excited about having an Afro-American president, definitely. It's like that. And he talked a good story, but I don't think he really panned out, in terms of what he said he was going to do.'
But Trump, he said, 'is his own man. Nobody owns him. He doesn't have to rely on donations from people.'
'He don't have to kiss no butt nowhere.'
DailyMail.com asked two dozen people in the decidedly partisan crowd who Trump should be eyeing as a vice presidential running mate.
The overwhelming favorite: former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who was named by 17 of the 24.
'I think a Trump and Carly Fiorina ticket would be an unstoppable team,' said Teresa Charette from Perry, Michigan.
Bodary agreed but warned that 'she's been a little too snarky lately, taking pot-shots at my Donald.'
'But she would be a great opponent for Hillary. If Hillary wins her own fight. Which – Who knows?'"
Image caption: "TRUMP-MENTUM: The unconventional candidate's appeal is hard to dismiss in the face of crowds in the thousands who will pay to hear him speak," by Daily Mail. via Drudge