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Colorado Gazette editorial: Trump’s Rocky Mountain High

Written By | Jul 31, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 31, 2016 — Donald Trump carried his message of “Making America Great Again” to the state of Colorado. And while he was there he won over some unexpected hearts.

Last August, while Republican voters were concerned with beach sand in their shoes, their own party leaders performed a perfectly legal, but sneaky, sleight of hand to deny primary voting from Colorado GOP members.

This week, Trump’s message was his usual free-form banter that amused and delighted the crowd. Nearly 10,000 signed up to attend the event, but only a couple thousand were able to make it inside the event locale due to a combination of bad planning by the Trump campaign and a recalcitrant fire marshal.

To which, Trump’s characteristic retort was, “He must be a Hillary voter!”

Trump nails convention speech and America’s mood

Trump addressed the much played video of him apparently making fun of the handicapped. He was really doing a rather poor imitation of a person who’s groveling. The slumped shoulders, the demeanor.

He said his heart would never allow him to make fun of the handicapped and that throughout his long building career, he has ensured his buildings have ramps and other handicapped accessories.

His message of upgrading our defense capabilities and fixing the Veterans Administration played well in this military town.

He repeated the idea for a 90-day test run to begin soon after the oath of office to his larger audience later in the day. A suggestion was made to him during an editorial review board meeting with The Gazette newspaper to make Colorado Springs a test city for his proposed privatization of veteran’s healthcare.

After a lengthy presentation, Trump chose to deliver a second round of remarks to the overflow room. Others, waiting outside with peaceful protesters and a gaggle of law enforcement officers were unable to hear what he said.

But, unlike other cities, there were no arrests. The cops were happily slouch-standing, as many approached them to shake their hands.

When Trump began his speech the high desert skies were bright blue over the Front Range and the 14,000-foot Pikes Peak, standing guard over the Springs. The weather reflecting the cheerful mood of the crowd as the candidate spoke.

And by the time Trump finished and was heading for Denver, weather north of here held bright and sunny.

Later, Colorado Springs had another of its crazy summer storms with hail so large as to damage many police cars in the eastern part of the city.

But, Trump by then was well on his way to a Denver speech. He made it clear that he is not writing off the state of Colorado. He believes with the heavy military presence in the state that many here will be four square in the Trump frame of mind.

Before his speech here, Trump sat down to an editorial review with the editors of The Gazette newspaper. Their paper was filled with articles covering the news of the Trump visit. The content of his remarks, where he slept Thursday night, why there were way more attendees than space for them, all of it and more, as one would expect of a local newspaper during a presidential campaign season, were covered.

2016/07/19 Commentary: Donald Trump is coming to town

When it came to the editorial page, one might have expected the usual snark, instead the editors recounted their surprise at the man they interviewed. He was nothing like the candidate. He was humble, self-effacing, quiet and thoughtful.

By all accounts, including Trump’s, their conversation was wide-ranging, substantive and filled with ideas for a Trump administration.

“Meeting with The Gazette’s editorial board Friday, Donald Trump exuded a level of warmth, vulnerability and humility that surprised us. He was nothing like the strident buzz saw so often seen on TV. “

Still, editors held the candidate’s feet to the fire, especially with regard to his potential Supreme Court picks. They asked him for a downright pledge his candidates would be fully conservative and vetted by the Federalist Society.

Said the editors, “You’re not going to go around that? (the Federalist Society) Because, some people are suspicious.”

Trump’s answer,

“No, no. One hundred percent out of the Federalist Society.. . That is the single biggest issue in this campaign. I mean, you always think defense and everything else. But if I’m not chosen, you’re going to have super liberal judges . . . You’ll never get the country back. The country will be gone.”

One can only imagine editors’ reactions: “You had us at ‘Hello.’”

But, let them speak for themselves.:

“We haven’t been huge fans of the media’s Donald Trump. The man who works the room is different. He seems wise, reasonable and impassioned. If the country meets that Donald Trump, he could be headed to the White House.”

Very early in his campaign, when nearly no one gave Trump a tinker’s chance of surviving the rough and tumble primaries, Rush Limbaugh reported on the candidate. Limbaugh and Trump are two wealthy men who live in Florida.

Both have been fully engaged in the Big Apple.

Both know many wealthy and influential people. That’s who they run with. Those are their ‘peeps.’

Trump echoes Lincoln’s warning to Americans

Rush reported that one and all reported to him that Donald J. Trump is a peach. A solid friend, a man of his word. A thoughtful and serious family man. A person on whom they knew they could count. They echoed The Gazette editors in their assessment of this media-savvy man.

Clearly, due to his years on The Apprentice television show, the ‘Trumpster’ has learned his way around reporters and the world of entertainment.

He has presented himself so far to the public and the media as an entertainer politician. We hope in time, that persona will diminish to reveal the real Donald Trump so many of his friends know and love.

We don’t exactly want Trump to let down his hair. That metaphor is really taking things too far.

But, please sir, privilege America with a look at the real you. The sweet father, the revered employer, the man who can get a roomful of skeptical newspaper editors eating out of your hand.

Karen Hagestad Cacy

Karen Hagestad Cacy, of Colorado Springs, is a former Washington speechwriter and transportation lobbyist. Raised in Portland, Oregon, she holds a BA degree in Russian and Middle East Studies from Portland State University (and American University in Cairo.) Her four novels are available on She is also the author of two plays.