“You are amazing people,” President Trump said before a largely maskless crowd of family and staff at Andrews Air Force Base Wednesday, following their departure from the White House on Marine One. “This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your President.”
Despite the Boomer-friendly jams that preceded it—“Don’t Stop Believing,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Macho Man”—Trump’s final speech as president was relatively subdued compared to the bombastic rally speeches he’s given since he first announced his presidential run in 2015. With a fresh sepia spray tan and a grimace, Trump lauded his administration’s accomplishments, boasting of impressive job numbers (prior to the covid-19 pandemic) and improved handling of veterans benefits (a deeply exaggerated claim).
He also congratulated himself for receiving 75 million votes in the 2020 presidential election.
“That’s a record in the history of sitting presidents,” Trump said. “That’s an all-time record by a lot, by many millions.”
Still, it wasn’t enough to grant him an election victory: President-elect Biden won over 81 million votes and won the electoral college handily. While Trump has long insisted that Biden’s election victory was fradulent—to the point of being accused of inciting the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill over such a falsehood—he managed to keep that opinion to himself during his farewell address.
The speech was still riddled with the usual Trumpisms: Self-aggrandizing his legacy and dabbling with a little casual xenophobia when referring to covid-19 as the “China virus.” All the while, First Lady Melania Trump stood by her husband’s side in her Jackie O cosplay best, offering a few words of her own before Trump once again took over.
CNN reports that the initial scripted remarks were rejected by Trump at the last minute, teleprompters removed before his arrival. Of course, Trump wouldn’t want to go out like that. He stuck to his comfort zone, talking off the cuff and improvising, confident in his message regardless of how inane it sounds to those at home. Even his ineloquent rambling was enough to send his sons Don Jr and Eric to tears.
And in typical Trump form, he vowed that he would return, and urged the audience to remember him and his administration’s so-called accomplishments.
“Have a good life, we will see you soon,” Trump said.
“YMCA” by the Village People blasted as President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump boarded Air Force One for the last time, en route to Mar-a-Lago, a chaotic end to four years of unprecedented chaos.