This Saturday, President Donald Trump delivered a long-awaited commencement address at the West Point military academy. The remarks included a racist diatribe targeting China in connection to the Coronavirus — and a reminder from the president that his birthday is coming up, which was met by almost complete silence from the crowd. In other words, the West Point grads and the rest of the personnel on site didn’t exactly seem particularly impressed by the president.
The only audible reaction in footage of the event is muffled laughter from what couldn’t be more than a small number of people. At least the laughter didn’t reach the level of the laughing on the part of the United Nations General Assembly, where Trump was laughed at to his face after he claimed to be one of the greatest presidents of history.
This time, he said to the grads in attendance at West Point:
‘Tomorrow, America will celebrate a very important anniversary — the 245th birthday of the US Army. Unrelated, it’s going to be my birthday also. I don’t know if that happened by accident.’
After the above, he looked towards the sky, as if asking God a question, and continued:
‘Did that happen by accident, please? But it’s a great day because of that Army birthday.’
Check out the video below:
"Tomorrow, America will celebrate a very important anniversary — the 245th birthday of the US Army. Unrelated, it's going to be my birthday also. I don't know if that happened by accident." #BoneSpurs pic.twitter.com/KDlfxePPeE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2020
Trump was mostly reading from a teleprompter during his remarks, but it’s unclear whether the remark about his birthday was a part of the pre-written version of the speech. It might not have been — when he comments about his birthday, he seems to look away from the teleprompter. It’s noteworthy that the point at which something occurred to the president that made him diverge from the prepared remarks is when he could circle back to himself.
Trump may have sought to use his appearance at West Point to depict himself as especially “presidential” — or something — but it’s not as though one speech is enough to erase the almost 3 and a half years of utter nonsense to which Trump has subjected the United States in the service of his ego. Voters seem fed up — presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads in many polls.