After barely leaving Trump Tower for weeks, Donald Trump kicked off what he is calling his "Thank You USA" tour Thursday night—and he seemed very happy to be back on the road. The crowd in Cincinnati, where he delivered an hourlong speech, was just as enthusiastic as the crowds at his campaign rallies, NBC reports. "This is the hour of when great deeds can be done and our highest hopes can come true," he said. "We're going to do it, folks." He repeated campaign promises, including a border wall, while "unabashedly gloating" about his election victory, according to the New York Times, which describes his tone as "incendiary and prideful, hopeful and indicting, vengeful and determined." Around 200 protesters gathered outside the US Bank Arena, and at least one was kicked out of the event.
Trump mocked the "extremely dishonest media" and boasted about victories in the Midwest, saying we "didn't just break the blue wall, we shattered it." He also took a dig at Ohio Gov. John Kasich for not supporting him during the campaign, adding that Kasich had called after the election to congratulate him. The AP reports that even Trump's aides seemed stunned when he used the Cincinnati rally to announce a Cabinet pick, confirming that his defense secretary will be Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis. Cincinnati.com—which notes that such a post-election victory lap is unprecedented—reports that the arena was far from full, possibly because unannounced road and bridge closures for security reasons snarled rush-hour traffic for about two hours. "I didn't know what came with this position," Trump told the crowd.