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Eugene Robinson On Trump's July 4th: 'A Very Expensive Ego Massage'

"Independence Day meant nothing more to Trump than an opportunity to choreograph a made-for -television reelection event and give himself an extremely expensive ego massage," Eugene Robinson wrote.
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Lots of talk this morning about Trump's Amazing, Best Ever, Biggest in History July 4th Extravaganza!

"Even though it wasn't intentionally political, certainly it was inherently political," MSNBC correspondent Geoff Bennett said.

"Just look at the timing. We're in the beginning of the 2020 race but look at this piece for the Washington Post. It's titled 'Trump tried to make Independence Day all about him. He ended up looking small.'

"Standing beneath the majestic statue of Abraham Lincoln, Trump looked and sounded quite small. It was clear from the beginning that Independence Day meant nothing more to Trump than an opportunity to choreograph a made-for -television reelection event and give himself an extremely expensive ego massage. This is the most collective of our holidays in that it celebrates our common heritage and enterprise but it is also the most individual. it commemorates not a battle but a document and each of us gets to decide what the Declaration of Independence means, what the flag represents, what the fireworks symbolize. Your view of what the Fourth of July means is every bit as valid as the president's. Mine is, too. And it excludes fighters and bombers over the Lincoln Memorial."

"Pick it up from there if you will. That was powerful writing," Bennett said.

"It's a very special day here in Washington. The experience of going down to the mall, you know, it's too hot," Robinson said.

"It often rains. Sometimes the clouds are so low you don't really see the fireworks and it's wonderful. It's great. It's the people's holiday and you might be on the mall next to a bearded Vietnam vet or a recent immigrant family and it's the nation and all of its diversity and we each get to decide what the document we're celebrating means and what it means to us and I just think it's the most democratic holiday we have, so of course President Trump puts himself at the center of it and made himself the focal point of it.

"I did think he looked small. Almost anyone looks small beneath the statue of Lincoln and I know that Trump supporters will consider this nitpicking, but his reference to Fort McHenry was very weird. Right after the airport he talked about Fort McHenry, which inspired 'The Star Spangled Banner' during the War of 1812."

Bennett cracked that some people are giving Trump credit for reading the teleprompter.

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