President Trump was in Jackson Saturday for the opening of the Civil Rights and Mississippi Museums. Here are my thoughts:
Paved streets— Trump’s visit got us some streets paved downtown. The streets the motorcade came down were paved in the 1-2 weeks before Saturday. The Pearl Street off-ramp, Jefferson St. and Amite St. were all paved. I assume it was a Secret Service requirement related to the POTUS vehicles. But who cares? Jackson should have a standing request to the sitting President to serve as grand marshal of all parades.
Governor Bryant was right— On the news last week I saw Governor Bryant saying that regardless of Trump’s divisive rhetoric, the coverage from his visit would be a net positive for the museums and Mississippi. He was right. The visit was covered live on the national news channels and left the impression that the museums are a big deal. That’s good for Mississippi and Jackson.
Trump respects Governor Bryant— I’ve noted before that Trump should be grateful to Bryant because he was one of his first mainstream Republican supporters. Trump’s demeanor, speech and fact he stayed on script suggests he did not want to do anything that would make Bryant look bad for inviting Trump here.
Mayor Lumumba handled the visit well— Notwithstanding the above comments, I can’t disagree with Mayor Lumumba’s decision to skip the event and conduct a press conference nearby.
Protestors made a misstep— The Trump protestors were lined up on High Street. The motorcade came down Pearl Street. Pre-event scouting would have revealed that was a possibility–perhaps even likely give how hard it is to pave streets.
Event organizers did a great job— From the television coverage I saw this looked like a first rate event. Reuben Anderson as the master of ceremonies was a good choice, as was including Myrlie Evers and Governor Winter. Having Evers on the stage is a stark reminder that this wasn’t that long ago. I wish my neighbor and Civil Rights pioneer Duncan Gray Jr. had lived long enough to attend.