Trump rally flops in Oklahoma - but don't count him out yet

It was the mid-pandemic political rally that was designed to kickstart the President’s re-election campaign.

Critics had called it inflammatory for its choice of location - a century ago Tulsa was the scene of America’s worst racist violence.

Medical experts warned the rally risked becoming a super-spreader event that could lead to a spike of Covid cases in Oklahoma.

In the end, it was a poorly-attended event that will lead to recriminations in the White House.

Much of the indoor arena was empty. That’s despite the White House claiming a million Americans had expressed interest in tickets.

President Trump launched an attack on Joe Biden and the Democrats - accusing them of siding with rioters and anarchists.

That will be one of the constant attack lines of the next 19 weeks, ahead of the November 3 election.

The President is this Sunday morning back at the White House, facing a disastrous start to his bid for re-election.

One critic described the Tulsa speech overnight as the “Emptysburgh Address.”

Trump’s polling numbers are sinking. His leadership on the Covid issue is widely judged to have been poor. And his response to the Black Lives Matter movement has played to his core supporters but alienated many centrist voters. (He didn’t even mention George Floyd’s name on Saturday night).

But after he left the rally, the President tweeted that the pollsters were again underestimating the “silent majority.”

But perhaps the biggest gaffe of the night was President Trump’s claim that there has been too much testing for Covid-19. The White House says it was meant to be a joke.

Perhaps we will look back at the Tulsa rally as the first clear indication that Trump is politically finished. As some wits are saying, the rally revealed that the “Emperor Has No Crowds.”

But for all the flaws that were on display in Tulsa - from the poor attendance to the rambling speech - we should not count the President out.

He could still win re-election.

It’s a long shot. The economy has to recover rapidly as the country reopens for business - Trump is dependent on a V-shaped bounce-back.

He will also need Joe Biden to stumble badly.

But that combination of events is certainly possible.

So don’t assume that Trump is finished. Even if that will be the fashionable analysis in the aftermath of Trump’s Tulsa fiasco.