Donald J Trump had run out of steam. Somewhere around the 15 minute mark, after repeatedly lying about winning the election that he lost, claiming Joe Biden was about to trigger a flood of illegal immigration into the country, and referring, rather absurdly, to the new administration as "anti-science", the former president started to appear flat.
It was Trump's first public speech since he'd boarded Air Force One to the strains of Village People's "YMCA" the morning of Biden's inauguration. Monday morning Australian time, he took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida (headline: "America Uncanceled") for a turgid 90 minute rerun of his greatest hits.
A Trump speech isn't a speech so much as an event. The former president does not talk like a normal person. He rambles, he jokes, he revs up the raucous crowd, dropping quietly into that conspiratorial, personal register. And he lies. A lot.