It can feel sometimes like Donald Trump is immune to public embarrassment: he doesn’t mind saying ridiculous things in front of the press, he doesn’t mind when fights break out in the Rose Garden, he doesn’t mind staring directly into the sun during a solar eclipse. He just keeps rolling through, doing stupid stuff, and anything he can’t blow off, he’s in denial about.
Or maybe we just never get to see Trump in a moment where he’s realizing how truly hated and horrible he is. Until Sunday night.
Trump when to Game 5 of the World Series between the Nationals and Astros. It was his first public appearance at a baseball game since he took office in 2017, and he was joined by Melania, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Reps. Steve Scalise, Mark Meadows, Liz Cheney, and Matt Gaetz, according to USA Today, up in the Washington Suite. Bold of him to show up at all.
After the third inning during the Nationals’ salute to veterans, Trump and his posse were introduced on screen. And they got booed to hell:
Look how Trump’s face changes when he realizes an entire stadium is booing him pic.twitter.com/E46rzbzmbl— Arlen Parsa (@arlenparsa) October 28, 2019
Yes, his face actually registers and emotion besides smugness and dementia sundowning. Trump heard those boos and he knows he was on camera as they started and he knows we all know. It is. Delicious.
And the crowd got a lot more specific, cheekily yelling “Lock him up.”
Usually, when crowds are demanding someone get thrown in jail, it’s because Trump has whipped them up into a frenzy from his podium at a rally. This is how it looks when he has to face what people think of him who aren’t rabid fans. He picked a bad place to make this appearance, since the game was in Washington D.C., where he lost the popular vote by a mile:
This World Series game was in Washington, DC. Here’s how DC residents voted in 2016.
What did the president expect was going to happen when he showed up? Yikes! pic.twitter.com/ReFd9EvXTc
— Arlen Parsa (@arlenparsa) October 28, 2019
Trump made one wise move when he declined an offer to throw out the first pitch, which is something done by presidents attending World Series games ever since William Taft began the tradition in 1910. It is America’s pastime, after all:
Presidents customarily throw out the first pitch at major baseball games they attend, like the World Series. It's a tradition that goes back many decades.— Arlen Parsa (@arlenparsa) October 28, 2019
Trump decided not to do it tonight but here's a pic of him doing his best in 2006. Probably a good call to skip it actually! pic.twitter.com/cOqvovpCMl
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that on Friday, Trump told the organization that he didn’t want to perform the pitch or make and official appearance “in order to make the fan experience as positive as possible.” It was also reported by WUSA9 that the Lerner family, principal owners of the Nats, asked the MLB to arrange things so that they wouldn’t have to respond to a request from Trump to sit with them, because they didn’t want to be put in the position to turn him down. I’m not sure how they managed it, but Trump was very far from the Lerners that night.
While it was apparently Trump’s idea to attend the game, it sounds like he had some idea what was coming. Guess Trump couldn’t quite resist appearing on camera, and it is so, so satisfying.