Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone:
The first thing you notice at Donald Trump's rallies is the confidence. Amateur psychologists have wishfully diagnosed him from afar as insecure, but in person the notion seems absurd.
Donald Trump, insecure? We should all have such problems.
At the Verizon Giganto-Center in Manchester the night before the New Hampshire primary, Trump bounds onstage to raucous applause and the booming riffs of the Lennon-McCartney anthem “Revolution.” The song is, hilariously, a cautionary tale about the perils of false prophets peddling mindless revolts, but Trump floats in on its grooves like it means the opposite. When you win as much as he does, who the hell cares what anything means?
He steps to the lectern and does his Mussolini routine, which he's perfected over the past months. It's a nodding wave, a grin, a half-sneer, and a little U.S. Open-style applause back in the direction of the audience, his face the whole time a mask of pure self-satisfaction.
“This is unbelievable, unbelievable!” he says, staring out at a crowd of about 4,000 whooping New Englanders with snow hats, fleece and beer guts. There's a snowstorm outside and cars are flying off the road, but it's a packed house.
He flashes a thumbs-up. “So everybody's talking about the cover of Time magazine last week. They have a picture of me from behind, I was extremely careful with my hair … “
He strokes his famous flying fuzz-mane. It looks gorgeous, like it's been recently fed. The crowd goes wild. Whoooo! Trump!
It's pure camp, a variety show. He singles out a Trump impersonator in the crowd, tells him he hopes the guy is making a lot of money. “Melania, would you marry that guy?” he says. The future first lady is a Slovenian model who, apart from Trump, was most famous for a TV ad in which she engaged in a Frankenstein-style body transfer with the Aflac duck, voiced by Gilbert Gottfried.
She had one line in that ad. Tonight, it's two lines:
“Ve love you, New Hampshire,” she says, in a thick vampire accent. “Ve, together, ve vill make America great again!”
As reactionary patriotic theater goes, this scene is bizarre – Melania Knauss didn't even arrive in America until 1996, when she was all of 26 – but the crowd goes nuts anyway. Everything Trump does works these days.