On Scene TGP Photos: Trump Orlando Rally Part Two (Inside and Don Jr.)
President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign with a mega MAGA rally held at the 20,000 seat Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday. TGP was there to cover the rally. This is part two of a series of TGP on scene reports on the rally. Part one report and photos at this link.
The atmosphere outside and inside for President Trump’s Orlando rally was like a rock concert for the biggest acts out on the road this summer: Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and the Who, all of whom are in the seventies like Trump. Unlike the legendary dinosaur acts basically doing greatest hits tours, Trump is at his peak performance and creativity having reinvented himself late in life as a politician, winning the presidency and becoming the most powerful man on earth.
Upon entering the press check-in at the Amway center around 5:30 p.m. following Secret Service screening, I and a TGP reporter-in-training sought out facilities to freshen up. An Amway Center staffer directed us to an escalator which fortuitously carried us up, up up all the way to the top floor. Generally, once one enters the press area that’s it for the rest of the night. We had the chance to roam the arena and get a good overview.
The arena was slowly filling and would be just about 200 short of the 20,000 capacity when President Trump took the stage after 8 p.m. Choosing to hold the kickoff rally at such a big venue was a confident move on Trump’s part. Usually those size venues are used a year later than now in the campaign time frame at presidential nomination acceptance speeches at party conventions.
Even after spending the day (or in some cases nearly two days) outside in the Florida heat, humidity and storms, the capacity crowd had the energy and enthusiasm to do the wave and stand for much of Trump’s speech. The concession stands were open, giving them the opportunity to refresh and refuel which many did.
These photos are from our view from the top floor where we watched Donald Trump Jr.’s speech. Don Jr. is a highly effective speaker at these rallies and always gets the crowd fired up.
The press pen was the biggest I have been in for the dozens of Trump rallies I’ve covered in Florida over the past four years (has it been that long?!) and still it wasn’t big enough to adequately hold all the reporters and cameras. Media from all over country and the world wanted to cover President Trump’s reelection kickoff rally.
As can be seen, the press pen was huge. And crowded. When we made our way down there later we ended up squeezing into a spot at the front rail in front of the camera riser about where the dark-haired woman in the red top and black skirt combo is standing. This photo was taken around 6 p.m., the pen got much more packed by the time the rally started.
Part three at this link.