President Trump climbed into a big rig driver’s seat, but the Internet was at the wheel Thursday.
Seeking support for the House Republican health-care legislation, Trump invited members of the American Trucking Association to the White House on Thursday.
“As he greeted them, two large trucks were parked in front of the White House,” The Washington Post’s John Wagner reported. “After shaking hands of ATA members positioned in front of the trucks, the president hopped into the rig of one of the 18-wheelers and tooted the horn a couple of times, then closed the door and waved to the news media through the window.”
In the photos, he appeared to be having the time of his life. In one, he appeared to be screaming while clutching the steering wheel, as if speeding down a highway at breakneck speed. Another showed him clenching both hands into triumphant fists.
A third showed him wearing an “I ♥ TRUCKS” pin.
Internet comics quickly transformed them into online memes, and a Twitter moment was born.
Many penned short story lines around the photographs.
When you missed the exit for Wendy's pic.twitter.com/05cqNBeNyn
— Tom Ganjamie (@tomgam) March 23, 2017
when you thought you wouldn't have to stop until the next rest area pic.twitter.com/LmnxywtLSa
— Big ACA Jeb Lund (@Mobute) March 23, 2017
when ur $2.25 shy of the seamless delivery minimum pic.twitter.com/41RTI2fYtL
— Josh Petri (@joshpetri) March 23, 2017
When “Thunderstruck” comes on pic.twitter.com/qGk1AIeE6N
— Russell Brandom (@russellbrandom) March 23, 2017
when you think about how much you <3 trucks pic.twitter.com/MfkdeNV0gL
— Julia Reinstein (@juliareinstein) March 23, 2017
— Denice_Snowflake (@ecined) March 23, 2017
Others poked fun at the president’s perceived excitement.
Find you someone who loves you as much as Trump loves sitting in that truck. pic.twitter.com/focagjLubZ
— Cameron Tabatabaie (@CTabatabaie) March 23, 2017
If he promised not to tweet anything crazy today, we told him he could wear his "I ❤Trucks" button. pic.twitter.com/zTdCxOpatK
— Trump Social Intern (@TrumPenceSocial) March 23, 2017
Some compared the president to a young child.
Trump is an actual five-year-old. I'm president and you're not!
Honking horns on trucks https://t.co/OptoiTjxu5
— nunesyourbusiness (@drsgorka) March 23, 2017
— Jim (@jminadeo) March 24, 2017
Ivanka: What sound does the bus make?
TRUMP: Vroom vroom vvvvrrrrrrooooooom
I: That's right daddy!
T: I like trucks
I: I know daddy pic.twitter.com/toLufUjTtu
— No, YOU'RE a Snob! (@OMGNotHerAgain) March 23, 2017
Others, meanwhile, invoked various vehicle-centric films, real and imagined. The most popular was “Mad Max: Fury Road,” George Miller’s Oscar-winning film about a high-speed car chase set on a post-apocalyptic Earth.
"Well it looks like ol' Boss Trump learned them Duke boys are slicker than a sow's underside. But that's how it goes here in Hazzard county" pic.twitter.com/Jz2J7ny1cU
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) March 23, 2017
He just got the news Furiosa isn't going to Gas Town. pic.twitter.com/MG9tsbMLQ8
— Emma Tarver (@_HeyEmma) March 23, 2017
Inevitably, Photoshopped versions multiplied.
— Jake Akuna (@jakeakuna) March 24, 2017
Here's a rough cutout of Trump driving a truck if anyone wants is pic.twitter.com/UPcPncx2Ph
— Reid Parker (@ReidParker_) March 23, 2017
— Kawsar Ali (@iamkawsar) March 23, 2017
Some likened these photos to the infamous 1988 photograph of former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis perched atop an eight-ton M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank at a General Dynamics facility in Sterling Heights, Mich. He wore a helmet bearing his name and a toothy grin. Dukakis, never particularly known for being macho, quickly became the target of ridicule. The New York Times ran a brief story that began, “Forget John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Forget Rambo. Meet Macho Mike Dukakis. At least that’s what his image makers are struggling to convey.”
Trump in the truck is Dukakis in the tank.
— Tom Junod (@TomJunod) March 24, 2017
— jrkinsella (@jrkinsella) March 24, 2017
Trump tweeted a video from the media event, but it was a bit more flattering than the tweets from these amateur comedians.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017
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