Arizona’s bulwark against Trumpism was just a mirage

« There’s no doubt about it, » he said. « It’s going to be two long years.

For Lake, the campaign was something different. She called it all – last Saturday night’s rally, her climb in Arizona – the start of a « huge red wave ». And the thrill of excitement in the crowd, the combative rhetoric and the brutal imagery that surrounded it suggested a real war at hand.

In the ranch parking lot northwest of Phoenix where Lake addressed the crowd, amid the palo verde trees, Tony Boulos, who was selling t-shirts, showed me one of his bestsellers . It read, “Time to take Biden to the train station,” a reference to the remote location where dead bodies are disposed of on the “Yellowstone” TV show.

« Conservatives are not troublemakers, » he said, pointing to the line of people streaming in. « They just got it. »

He also sold ammunition. « It’s Arizona, man! » said Boulos.

A co-worker of hers fried a hot dog on a grill and said to me, « Our state is a hot spot right now, » while inside the microphone Lake said she felt “like I was on the road like a rock star, playing. She called Hobbs a “coward,” while describing her own campaign as a “national movement… originating right here in Arizona.” She lamented the state of immigration, homelessness and the economy under Democratic rule and, shaking her finger, promised that « we won’t let them take this election as [Biden] did. Certainly not. » She railed against « radical leftists » and the media – « those lying, propagandistic bastards trying to bring this country down. »

At one point, a man in the crowd shouted, « We’ve got your six, Kari. »

« Thank you, sir, » Lake replied. « Thank you, cowboy. »

She said, « We have God on our side », and she asked her supporters to raise their hands if they were « ready to vote as if your life depended on it ».


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