Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He tweeted triumphantly that "people are pouring into Washington in record numbers" for his inauguration.

Many people will indeed attend the inauguration, although "record numbers" seems somewhat unlikely. As of this post, hotels.com reports that 24% of DC-area hotel rooms are unbooked for Friday night. Trump himself has joined the effort to give away free tickets, and scalpers are reporting losses. By contrast, resold ticket prices for President Obama's 2009 inauguration rose into the thousands of dollars and prompted emergency anti-scalping legislation in Congress.

However, Trump's larger point about drawing large crowds "into Washington" is correct in one sense: protestors are likely to outnumber those actually attending the inauguration. It's not clear if Trump is personally aware of that.

Why should anyone care about this?

  • It speaks poorly of a president's integrity if he deliberately counts protestors as supporters.
  • It speaks poorly of a president's mental state if he cannot tell the difference between protestors and supporters.