When Dave heard the president was going to be grand marshal at the 2020 Daytona 500, he thought it’d be great for a couple of reasons. NASCAR’s most famous event of the year was what you’d call a “target-rich environment”–the organizers could have used a MAGA hat instead of a checkered flag and the crowd would have approved–big league. Be honest–it’s a 150,000-person Trump rally with very large engines. But for Dave, the opportunities he saw for the president extended far beyond the cheap seats. Twelve million people or so would be watching at home on Fox. Every one of them would stop everything when the boss uttered the words “Start your engines.” A towering American figure leading a legendary American event–those optics were something you cannot buy.
Presidential events like this can have a tendency to go sideways. More times than we could count, politicians, especially presidents and presidential hopefuls, have done more damage than good showing up at sporting events. In 1992, candidate Bill Clinton campaigned at the Darlington 500 and was resoundingly booed. The crowd at the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star game jeered Obama big time in St. Louis….