‘You Don’t Mind if I Go Off Script a Little,’ Said the Leader of the Free World
The 45th president of the United States made fun of his bald spot, read a poem, showed some personality, and made 'em laugh at CPAC
“I think if Trump goes around this country to campaign for these midterms and performs anything like he did at CPAC, he will keep this momentum going,” Nigel Farage, former leader of the U.K.’s Independence Party and a Fox News contributor, said to host Laura Ingraham Friday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”
“That will lead through to everything he needs to do.”
Farage was talking about President Donald Trump’s colorful speech and performance Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C. Not only did the president touch on important political issues facing the country, but he veered way off script to comment on his bald spot, joked about how he’d like to see the guy on the big screen give a speech, and recited “The Snake” poem — something he often used on the campaign trail as a metaphor about the perils of illegal immigration.
Farage said he was impressed by Trump’s personality during the speech.
One reason Trump’s able to bring his personality to the political arena, of course, is that he’s not an Establishment politician and never was.
“They are dull,” Farage said of the Establishment. “They are humorless. They are without any real personality, and what sparkled for the president [on Friday] was him being him.”
Ingraham pointed out that one of the Left’s biggest complaints about Trump is that he’s never self-deprecating — but then they weren’t happy when he made a joke about having a bald spot and how he works hard to cover it.
"CPAC has always been about big ideas and putting them into action," Trump said at one point, as he read his speech from a teleprompter on Friday morning. Then he suddenly caught sight of his own image on a giant video monitor in the room.
"What a nice picture that is. Look at that, I'd love to watch that guy speak, oh, God," the president said jokingly as he looked at his larger-than-life image — and the audience lapped it up. He turned around on the podium, his back to the crowd — and pretended to be fixing his hair, shaping it and pressing the tops and sides to get it just right.
"Oh, I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks. I work hard at it," he said when he turned back to face the crowd. "Doesn't look bad," he said, looking back at himself. "Hey, we're hanging in, we're hanging in! We're hanging in there, right? Together, we are hanging in!"
"We were all screaming," Ingraham said of Trump's humor. She herself had delivered a speech to the CPAC crowd not long before the president. "It was so funny. It lightened the mood. They [the Left] never say anything positive — even when he's pushing gun control measures, they say it's not enough. It's unbelievable."
Trump also said at one point, "By the way, you don't mind if I go off script a little bit, because, you know it's sort of boring. Sort of boring. Got this beautiful speech, everything's wonderful — but it's a little boring."
Trump also read the poem "The Snake" with a one-word intro: "immigration." It, of course, tells the story of an ill snake that is taken in by a kindly woman — then once it recovers, it bites her. Trump read, in part:
On her way to work one morning
Down the path alongside the lake
A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-hearted frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
"Poor thing," she cried, "I'll take you in and I'll take care of you."
"Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven' sake
Take me in, oh tender woman," sighed the vicious snake ...
Farage noted the media also constantly attacked President Ronald Reagan during his eight-year presidency — and this about the man who goes down as one of the all-time greats in U.S. presidential history. On top of that, Farage said left-wing outlets like CNN and The New York Times have lost the trust of most of the public — so what they say about the president's losing relevance doesn't matter much.
Regardless of what the Left thinks, Ingraham pointed out that she is happy with the momentum the Right has going now.
"Keep moving the ball down the field and keep winning," Ingraham said. "And what did the Left do today? Well, they're just singing the blues."
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.