The Secret Service blockaded the entrance and created a bottleneck which Trump jumped into for a photo to create the false impression of a big crowd for him at the Iowa State Fair.
Ron Filipkowski tweeted about how this media illusion was done:
After the people trying to get into the fair are sufficiently bottle-necked by the Secret Service blockade at the entrance, Trump jumps out and they get the propaganda shot. pic.twitter.com/IbxijEdj2k
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 13, 2023
If the fair averages 100,000 people on a Saturday, and the entrance is blockaded for 30 minutes, a bottleneck of thousands of people would be created at the entrance, which then allows Trump to pop up and claim that everyone was there for him, the indictments don’t matter, and he is just as strong as ever.
It is all stagecraft.
No one is suggesting that Trump isn’t popular with Iowa Republicans. Trump has a roughly 40-point lead in the state’s Republican presidential caucus polling, and the former president comfortably won Iowa in 2016 and 2020.
One of Trump’s main goals is to create the illusion that the indictments against him are politically helpful. Trump is waging a public relations war because if Republicans ever catch on to the possibility that Trump is a dead candidate walking who might not be able to win in November, Donald Trump has no path to potentially avoiding jail.
Donald Trump blocked the entrance at the Iowa State Fair for almost as long (30 minutes) as his appearance at the fair (roughly 45 minutes).
Like any authoritarian, Trump is promoting the illusion of strength to hide the truth of his weakness.