By Jimmy Orr, editor
Saturday is the day for big Donald Trump rally in Casper and lines started forming before 6 a.m.
This is the day the former president christens the campaign of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney challenger Harriet Hageman.
Ever since Cheney spoke out against the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and went on to vote for Trump’s impeachment, the former president marked Cheney as public enemy number one.
Trump then sought to back the horse that could pull the equivalent of a Rich Strike win at the Kentucky Derby. After all, the thought of beating Liz Cheney, at one point, was considered an impossibility. She was a lock.
No longer. Now it’s a race. Now, it’s Saturday. And the big orange tank will be on the battlefield soon.
And although the actual Trump part of it is just a portion of the show (maybe an hour or a little bit longer), the rally is a whole-day affair.
Doors will open to the Casper Events Center (now known as the Ford Wyoming Center) at 11 a.m. and entertainment is slated to begin at 1 p.m.
The former president should appear at 4 p.m. Sometimes he’s late. Sometimes he’s early.
The events center holds 9,700 people and is expected to be packed. If it is and some patrons can’t get in to hear the presentations, they will be fed to large screens outside the events center as well.
And for those at home, it will be streamed on YouTube.
As for the speakers, there are some considered heavyweights for the portion of the Republican Party that Trump controls, including U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, and Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado.
Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor-Greene is not in the lineup. But Donald Trump Jr. is expected to attend and speak as well.
As for the Wyoming speakers, participants can look forward to hearing from Wyoming Republican Chairman Frank Eathorne who has been in Wyoming news frequently over the last two weeks.
Party activist David Iverson is also expected to speak, as is Wyoming state Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, R-Lingle, Reps. John Bear, R-Gillette and Chip Neiman, R-Hulett, and former legislator Marti Halverson.
Bear and Neiman are used to speaking together as the two hosted a daily legislative recap on Facebook. Bear, the more forceful of the two speakers, is more like an Al Michaels where Neiman is a quieter Chris Collinsworth.
And the big Wyoming speaker, of course, is Harriet Hageman who, as a trial attorney, knows how to deliver a good speech.
There will be video addresses by such notables as U.S. House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy, GOP House Chair Elise Stefanik, and Rep. Jim Jordan R-Ohio.
As for the music that will be played before, between and after the speakers, it’s a variety mainly of classic rock.
Patrons are likely to hear songs by The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Tom Petty, The Who, AC/DC, Bachman Turner, Overdrive, Phil Collins, and Aerosmith.
There’s some more poppier music that is likely to be played too from artists such as Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Village People, Lee Greenwood, Backstreet Boys, and Lionel Richie.
But this is Wyoming. Perhaps more of a country mix is in store. Will Chris LeDoux’s songs make an appearance?
Will the rally move the needle? Unknown. You would’t think anyone going to the rally would be on the fence in this contest. So for the actual attendees, not likely.
But the subsequent coverage after the event could make an impact. After all, the advertisements from the rally could be the most useful for Hageman.
But those advertisements aren’t going to go unanswered, of course. Cheney’s war chest is vast and few are better in a knife fight than Liz. She ain’t going quietly in the night.
It’s a Battle Royale and for political junkies, it’s a three month very loud, likely-obnoxious chess match. The election really kicks off on Saturday. This is where it begins.
Jimmy Orr is the editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.