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.
Others poked fun at the president’s perceived excitement.
Some compared the president to a young child.
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.
Inevitably, Photoshopped versions multiplied.
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 tweeted a video from the media event, but it was a bit more flattering than the tweets from these amateur comedians.
More from Morning Mix