For more than eight months, the “Donald Trump for President Dade County Office” Facebook page has drawn comments from eager fans looking for a way to help the Republican presidential nominee.
There’s the woman who hoped Trump would secure the GOP nomination even if he didn’t win 1,237 party delegates. There’s the Cuban immigrant who wrote he’s “never been so proud to be an American now that I can vote for a true leader that really wants to make America great again.” There’s the would-be volunteer who tried unsuccessfully to book someone from Trump’s local operation on Fox News.
All the support might come as a shock to Trump: His campaign has no Miami office.
The Facebook page? It’s a gag, created by 39-year-old Democrat Mark Bernstein to amuse guests at a Trump-themed New Year’s Eve party he threw last December.
“I didn’t think it would ever last this long,” he told the Miami Herald. “But in the void left by him not actually having any infrastructure, it’s been listed on Google Maps!”
The page is the first Google hit when you search for “Trump Miami campaign headquarters” — above the link to Trump’s official volunteer sign-up page. The real campaign has opened a single Florida office, in Sarasota. A Trump spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The address for the faux Miami office is Bernstein’s Edgewater condo. He suspects unknowing Trump backers might have actually shown up, only to find an apartment building at the end of a dead-end residential street, nary a Trump sign in sight.
That hasn’t stopped Bernstein — who backed Bernie Sanders and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton — from giving himself a Trump-operative persona online.
“We are in America! You need to speak English,” Bernstein replied to the woman who posted in Spanish about Trump’s delegate count. “Boss has spoken about this,” he added, linking to a video clip of Trump chiding Jeb Bush for campaigning in Spanish. “ok,” she responded.
A few of the comments are from Bernstein’s friends in on the joke ever since the New Year’s party, which featured a bespoke Trump piñata and Trump toilet paper.
Bernstein acknowledged the page will likely meet its end once the Herald writes about it.
“The day his lawyer sends me a threatening letter,” Bernstein said, “is the day I frame it and put it in my office as the crowning achievement of my life.”