Memo to Donald Trump: It gets hot in Virginia in July, buster. Suck it up. There’s nothing you can do about that. Deal with it.
The Republican presidential nominee didn’t deal with it very well Monday afternoon at The Hotel Roanoke.
He trashed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her “bad judgment” in picking Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. He slashed Kaine as a weak and ineffective Virginia governor and “a political hack.” He bashed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a frequent Trump foil, as “Pocahontas,” calling the Massachusetts Democrat “the worst senator in the U.S. Senate.”
Weirdly, he warned that without the right appointees on the U.S. Supreme Court, “it will be back to Venezuela.” Huh? Seriously, he said that.
And, in the biggest room in the finest hotel in Roanoke, along with at least 1,600 chanting and cheering Trumpeteers, the candidate trained his attention-deficit-disordered thoughts on a purely apolitical topic: The room was too hot.
He whined and whined about The Hotel Roanoke’s air conditioning. No kidding.
“I think this ballroom and the people who run this hotel should be ashamed,” Trump told the crowd. “I think it’s actually cooler outside than it is in this damn ballroom.” (It wasn’t.)
He boasted there were 1,000 people standing outside on the Wells Avenue side in 104-degree heat, listening to him on loudspeakers. (There weren’t; there were at most 50, according to a city firefighter who was outside, and the temperature never hit 100.)
Perhaps jokingly, Trump suggested he wouldn’t pay the bill — after his campaign apparatus commandeered a large chunk of the hotel for most of the day. Trump’s a tough guy, see. Nobody takes advantage of him. Especially, whoever runs the thermostat.
“I feel like I’m in a sauna. I don’t know what hotel this is,” Trump went on. “You let people suffer and don’t turn on the air conditioning. This is ridiculous.”
It was ridiculous, but not in the way Trump intended. The ridiculous part was him standing there wailing about it.
He suggested the hotel turned off the AC to save money. (It didn’t. The main ballroom’s air conditioning was set at 63 degrees. “We did have it set as low as it could possibly go,” said Michael Quonce, the hotel’s public relations manager. “It was running at 99 percent efficiency.”)
Trump’s comments were chintzy, low-rent, third-rate and wholly unbecoming for a major party presidential nominee. But they are pure Trump, full of narcissistic bullying, worrying about his own comfort, picking on an entity that can’t pick back.
For the record, the hotel doors were open for two hours before he began speaking, to let in thousands of Trumpeteers (some were shunted off to an overflow ballroom). People were packed in the main ballroom like sardines. Trump was standing under stage lighting. What does he expect? You don’t get meat-locker temps under those circumstances.
And part of it was Trump’s own fault. The temps in the room probably went up 10 degrees after he opened his mouth. (OK, just kidding on that one.)
Around this country in recent weeks, cops have been assassinated in Dallas. Black men have been shot to death by police for little apparent reason. A crazy man with a gun slaughtered patrons of a gay bar in Florida.
And the Republican presidential nominee is worrying about a warm room in Western Virginia in the middle of the summer? Puh-lease. There are more important things he ought to focus his scattered thoughts on.
Presidential campaigns are long, arduous and frequently nasty. By circumstance of the calendar, part of them happen in the summer, when temperatures can get hot. The rhetoric can get hot, too.
What’s that old expression? The one that begins, “If you can’t stand the heat ...”
If Donald Trump can’t stand the heat of a Hotel Roanoke ballroom in July, perhaps he’s not cut out for the rigors of the campaign to come.
Maybe he ought to get out now, and go find some place to cool down.