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Snapshots 2016: Trump's Message Resonates With A Master Cabinet Maker


Now we're going to hear a snapshot. Snapshots 2016 is a series of audio portraits we're bringing you of people we've met on the campaign trail, people who've been swept into the momentum when a candidate comes to town. NPR's Mara Liasson shares this snapshot of a man she met at a Donald Trump rally in New Hampshire.

DAVID COUTURE: My name is David Couture. I live in Dover, N.H. I'm a master cabinet maker.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Couture didn't just show up at this rally for Donald Trump, he planned ahead - even though it didn't work out exactly as he'd hoped.

COUTURE: I sent him an email. I said, you know something, next time you come, I want you to know I'm a tenor and I want to sing "God Bless America" for your next rally. And they go, we'll be back to you within a day or so. And no one ever got back to me. (Laughter) I was really pissed. Then they did send me the ticket so I came.

LIASSON: He came and he listened - no hard feelings about not being able to sing - and he liked what Trump said.

COUTURE: First time I've ever seen him in person, first time I've ever been to a political anything anytime in my life. I always voted, but this is the - I tell you, I saw this today. He makes sense.

LIASSON: Couture is a woodwright (ph). His card says, continuing the tradition of craftsmanship in America. But lately, that hasn't been easy.

COUTURE: I make less money than I made 15 years ago because we're - I'm competing against IKEA and all this cheap stuff. I've taken a beating.

LIASSON: Couture describes a middle-class way of life that's slipping away.

COUTURE: I don't know. It's just - the America I knew that I grew up in as a kid is gone. It's gone and it's lost, and it saddens me to the core.

LIASSON: Couture says that he and everyone else he knows is working harder and longer and making less than they did in the past. That's why Trump's promise to make America great again appeals to him. Presidents can change things. That's what elections are about. Couture says for the first time, he wants to get involved, and he knows where he's going to start.

COUTURE: One of the first things I'm doing is I'm getting a big sign and I'm plunking it right in my front yard. And I have a woman down the street who is a huge Hillary - I mean, big time. And that's going to piss her off like you don't know. But you know something? I'm going to do it.

LIASSON: Since he went to hear Trump, Couture tells us he's become passionate about politics. He makes it a point to talk to people every day about the election. He says he finds one common sentiment, total disgust with the present state of things. Oh, and that offer to sing "God Bless America" for the next Trump rally? It still stands.

COUTURE: (Singing) God bless America...

LIASSON: Mara Liasson, NPR News.

COUTURE: (Singing) ...Land that I love. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mara Liasson is a national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.