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Thousands come out for Trump rally at MSP

Plus: Mike Pence to visit Duluth; Al Franken calls for hearings on FBI’s handling of Clinton emails; the terrible timing of building U.S. Bank Stadium; and more.

Supporters gathering at a rally with Donald Trump in a cargo hangar at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Donald made his last pitch in Minnesota Sunday. For MPR, Matt Sepic and Brian Bakst drew the short straws. “Trump backers waited several hours for his personalized 757 jet to pull up in front of the giant hangar doors. In a touch of stagecraft, the New York real estate mogul made his fans wait a few minutes more before appearing at the plane’s door with a wave and a double thumbs up. He then delivered a 40-minute call to action, complete with references to his opponent Hillary Clinton as crooked, the country’s leaders as stupid, and the nation’s current policies as misguided.”

For the Strib, Allison Sherry writes: “ … thousands of mostly white supporters, including many young families, arrived in shirtsleeves and tank tops lined up for hours to hear Trump’s speech. He bashed Democrats for soaring health insurance rates, and for trade deals that hurt workers at home. He promised to end the overseas outsourcing of jobs, and said ISIL has ‘infiltrated’ Minnesota and that he will not allow resettlement of refugees without the support of local communities.”

Naturally, Breitbart News, the organization once run by The Donald’s campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, takes a slightly different tone in this piece from Joel Pollak: “According to police, 5,000 people were allowed inside the hangar, but 17,000 had reserved for the event. Thousands gathered outside the fence … Trump arrived in his trademark style, landing in his private plane and taxiing to a halt directly in front of the crowd. To the sound of ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’, he descended the stairway and waved to the crowd from the stage.” Has he tried “descending” to “Highway to Hell”?

For The Los Angeles Times, Michael Finegan reports, “The timing of Donald Trump’s foray into blue-state Minnesota turned awkward Sunday when the FBI closed its Hillary Clinton email investigation just as the Republican nominee’s plane landed in Minneapolis. … Trump also tried to justify his decision to use a few of the scarce hours remaining before Tuesday’s election to dart into a state that no Republican has won since 1972. He said he was fighting for every vote and attacked Clinton for not bothering to campaign in Minnesota.”

At Politico, Jeremy Herb says, “Donald Trump’s late push into traditionally blue states like Minnesota and Michigan will wind up being a fool’s errand, Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta predicted on Sunday. Podesta expressed confidence on ABC’s “This Week” that the Clinton campaign will win both Minnesota and Michigan, and he pointed to strong early-voting numbers in Nevada as another data point on Clinton’s path to 270 electoral votes on Tuesday. ‘Well, look, we feel good about Minnesota,’ Podesta said. ‘You know, he made that last-minute change to abandon Wisconsin and go to Minnesota — we’re not sure why he did that.’” Maybe he was selling Trump Steaks out of the back of the plane?

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Noted prophet John Hinderaker at Power Line senses a GOP wave. “Trump might just be trolling the Clinton campaign, but I doubt it. My guess is that his campaign’s polling does show Minnesota as competitive. Otherwise, it would be silly to waste time during the critical finale of a close race. Not only that, Mike Pence is coming to Minnesota too … Minnesota is, in general, trending Republican. … Trump dominates outstate Minnesota, not just northern Minnesota, as has been widely reported, but just about all rural areas of the state. Clinton, on the other hand, will win big in the Twin Cities, including some suburbs that have generally been tossups or leaned Republican.” That white male rural vote just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

On that Duluth visit by Pence, the Forum News Service says, “Andy Post, Minnesota communications director for the Trump campaign, said he had been asking for the candidates to visit Minnesota for quite some time. But narrowing polls have caused the campaign to view the state in a new light. ‘They see that it’s in play. They see that it’s winnable,’ Post said. ‘It’s a traditionally blue state,’ Post said. ‘That’s no secret.’ But he said Trump campaign’s message is resonating, particularly up north.

‘What we’re really seeing up there is a lot of Democrats voting for Trump. So we’re going to win CD8 (the 8th Congressional District) pretty handily. And we’re going to win the Iron Range even more handily,’ Post predicted. ‘It’s very good territory for us.’”

If turnabout is fair play, Al Franken wants to take a longer look at FBI Director Jim Comey. Says Eric Bradner of CNN, “Sen. Al Franken called Sunday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server. And the Minnesota senator said he thinks Hillary Clinton can rely on his state’s voters despite a last-minute visit from Donald Trump, though he said he’s always ‘nervous.’ ‘I think that there should be hearings, and I’m certain there will be hearings in the Judiciary Committee on this matter,’ the Franken told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union.’”

Also from Al’s CNN visit, Politico’s Madeline Conway writes, “Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Sunday called a new advertisement for Donald Trump’s campaign ‘something of a German shepherd whistle’ designed to appeal to his supporters in the so-called alt-right. … As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted to Franken on Sunday morning on ‘State of the Union,’ commentators have pointed out that it targets three public figures who are Jewish — billionaire George Soros, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. … ‘I’m Jewish, so maybe I’m sensitive to it, but it clearly had sort of [an] ‘Elders of Zion’ kind of feel to it,’ Franken said.” 

Finally, unrelated to The Donald and the specter of Orangeness, Strib business columnist Lee Schaffer writes, “We decided to sink a half-billion tax dollars into a gleaming U.S. Bank Stadium that finally opened the very season the audience for NFL games started slipping. So we were buying professional football at the peak of the market. What chumps. … For fans convinced this talk of moving past peak NFL football is defeatist nonsense, there is a way to put some money behind that conviction. At U.S. Bank Stadium the most expensive of the seat licenses, those intangible assets that grant the right to buy a game ticket, were listed at $56,250 per seat on PSL Source last week. … That wouldn’t be a financial risk right now that I would be willing to take.” Me, I’ll wait until they hit $25 on StubHub.