Donald Trump Brings Theatrics to Iran Nuclear Deal Protest


September 9, 2015

People protested the Iran nuclear agreement on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.© Doug Mills/The New York Times

September 9, 2015

People protested the Iran nuclear agreement on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.© Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON – Tea Party and other conservatives had hoped to make their gathering here the clarion call to rally against the Iran nuclear deal, drawing on the star power of Donald J. Trump, the rhetoric of Senator Ted Cruz and a cast of 40 or so supporting characters speaking on a stage with the the United States Capitol looming in the background.

But Tuesday, President Obama secured the votes necessary to make his negotiated deal with Iran essentially veto proof, giving this rally a less tangible, or at least achievable, objective.

But, as with all great political theater, the show had to go on.

So Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz, Sarah Palin, the radio host Mark Levin and a host of other conservative luminaries headed outside to brave the swampy September humidity to air their grievances against the deal, committed votes be damned, basking in the lights, camera and attention brought by Mr. Trump.

“When Donald arrives at an event, he brings an army of TV reporters,” Mr. Cruz said recently, according to CNN. “He brings an army of cameras that show up. And Donald’s being there — he very graciously accepted — means the mainstream media will cover the event.”

It is under the glare of those cameras that Mr. Trump shines, often offering more entertaining and meandering speeches while rarely pausing for a dull moment to talk detailed policy. His speeches make for great theatrical proclamations – like a promise to build a wall across the southern border with Mexico, one that he would make Mexico pay for.

And so far, Mr. Trump’s style seems to be resonating, even seeping into other candidate’s stump speeches as they strive for a touch of the theatrics. Mr. Cruz, for his part, calls in his stump speeches to “abolish the I.R.S.,” another politically difficult objective, often punctuating the verb with a crescendo.

Much of the early part of the Republican contest has centered on attention generated by Mr. Trump. Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry have tried to raise their profile, and polling numbers, by attacking the businessman. Jeb Bush has increasingly waged a full-throated campaign against him, while Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has been more cordial to the billionaire.

But none have gone farther than Mr. Cruz, who has constantly defended Mr. Trump, no matter how caustic his remarks. It was Mr. Cruz who invited Mr. Trump to the rally, not the Tea Party Patriots, the original hosts of the event, and the joint appearance by the two candidates here, Iran votes or not, marks a symbolic high point in their relationship.

Courtesy: The New York Times