WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Visions of grandeur appear to have passed from Donald Trump to his supporters.
A man has erected a large poster of the Republican frontrunner alongside a major thoroughfare in Iowa, making it a pilgrimage site for those who marvel at Trump’s no-nonsense presidential run for the White House.
The four foot by eight foot (1.2 x 2.4 meter) photograph has become a landmark of sorts in a residential suburb of Iowa’s capital Des Moines.
It shows Trump with his mouth open in a rictus and his eyes hard and focused, as if he might be unleashing one of his (many) tirades, or delivering a takedown of a rival.
“I’ve always been a little bit of a Trump fan,” said George Davey, good-natured computer engineer by day and inventor by night, as AFP knocked on his door.
Trump supporters — and US media — have flocked to Davey’s poster since November.
His family, no longer perturbed by the disruption, continued their meal during a Monday interview.
“He says what’s on his mind, he doesn’t worry about being censored or eroding free speech,” Davey said admiringly.
“That’s the kind of guy we need. Kind of like Putin,” he said, referring to the Russian president.
A neighbor, Yvonne, confirmed that passersby stop and snap photos.
Davey put up the poster, along with lights to make it visible at night, and set up a security camera to prevent vandalism.
The photo has been tampered with twice, once with chocolate syrup, which was easy to wash off.
The second time vandals “spray-painted a sad face” on Trump, Davey said.
Like the candidate himself, Davey’s poster does not let attacks bring it down.
In case of irreparable damage or vandalism, Davey has several copies of his photograph at the ready.