HARRISBURG, Pa. — On the 100th day, the president had fun. He zipped up to the nearest Rust Belt state full of the forgotten men and women who put him into office. He bashed the bad guys of the media and Hollywood and the swamp he’d just left behind. He promised jobs and greatness. It was like last year again, all lusty cheers and smiling faces, a refreshing tonic after three months of stubborn lawmakers, naysaying judges, carping protesters, frenetic days and lonely nights.
Donald Trump could have stayed home and had dinner with 2,700 card-carrying members of the Washington elite, many of whom make their living inspecting his every move for missteps, most of whom probably didn’t vote for him anyway. But he said no to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where the swells in tuxedos and gowns feasted on jokes at his expense.
Instead, he spent Saturday night in Harrisburg, a town he’d described during the campaign as hollowed-out — “just rotting . . . It’s just a war zone.”
This time, he called it “a wonderful, beautiful” place. He soaked in the love of Harrisburg, people who’d waited in summer-strength sun for as long as 13 hours for the chance to tell their president they have his back.
From the top, Trump touted his decision to spurn the dinner in Washington and instead commune with his people in Pennsylvania. “A large group of Hollywood celebrities” — big boos — “and Washington media” — another wave of boos — “are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom,” he said. “I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington swamp . . . with much, much better people.”
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