- As the outside world debated the polarizing president's State of the Union address, inside the Trump International Hotel his fans were out in full blaze.
- There was an overwhelming sense in the room that Trump ultimately would prevail over his many detractors.
While President Donald Trump may not be the most popular person in Washington, there was one place Tuesday night where he was a rock star: at the hotel in the nation's capital that bears his name.
As the outside world debated the polarizing president's State of the Union address, inside the Trump International Hotel, just a short way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, his fans were out in full blaze.
Supporters stood three-deep at the bar inside the palatial building, gathered to hear Trump elucidate his review of his first year in office and the road ahead.
There was no mistaking the mood in the room, where the bar was full and nearly every table was reserved.
"I'm very pleased with how he's led the country so far, with the way he has directed the economy," said Katie Price, a 24-year-old from California who works with a recruiting firm and thus considers herself an atypical Trump supporter. "He's made us listen, and it's made us think about the things we believe in."
The Trump International is an ornate yet staid hotel, where employees run a tight ship and customer satisfaction is key. Under normal circumstance, the hotel never would have cranked up the volume for the Trump speech, but the demand was boisterous.
As the time drew near to the State of the Union delivery, anticipation grew.
There were the usual suspects in the room: K Street movers and shakers, a small party where a book by former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski was featured, and your basic button-down Republicans who had come to hear the president check all their policy boxes.
But that wasn't all: A husky fellow in a Philadelphia Eagles jersey stood not far from a Hispanic businessman. There was an African-American woman in camouflage fatigues and a young couple strutting in "Make America Great Again" colors (they didn't stick around long).
A burdened hotel worker tried to keep reporters at bay and admonished spectators from capturing the moment with their smartphone video recorders.
There was no suppressing the mood, though. Attendees joined in with those in the Capitol for virtually every applause line in the speech. The hotel used the Fox News feed, and the hotel attendees roared at one point when Trump asked for bipartisanship and Fox showed Democrats Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, oft-vilified emblems of the Trump resistance.
There was an overwhelming sense in the room that Trump ultimately would prevail over his many detractors.
"Phenomenal," was how Charles Kirk, an up-and-coming Republican and leader of Turning Point USA, described Trump's term so far. "He is leading the restoration of the belief in American exceptionalism."
Kirk, who's been growing his own fame lately, doesn't believe the surveys that show most Americans oppose the president. As he tours the country — 49 states in the past year — he finds just the opposite sentiment.
"There's a strong grassroots support for what he's doing," Kirk said. "When the chips are down, he's going to deliver."
Jeff Hunt, the leader of the Western Conservative Summit, also sees a strong base of support for Trump that has remained loyal through his first year in office.
"On the issues that matter, religious freedom, defunding Planned Parenthood, repealing Obamacare, he's been strong," Hunt said. "We're really impressed with that [job] the president's been doing."