The notoriously filthy streets of the city of San Francisco, California were hastily cleaned up just days ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this week, during which President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders welcomed and honored Chinese President Xi Jinping, among other foreign leaders.
In the view of HBO's "Real Time" host Bill Maher, the situation in San Francisco was further proof to him that former President Donald Trump will win re-election in 2024, according to the Daily Beast.
The liberal comedian knocked Democrats for only cleaning up the once-beautiful city when they had "company coming over" and argued that the incident only bolstered Trump's rhetoric about imposing "control" over devolving cities that resonates with many American people.
During the panel discussion on Friday's episode of "Real Time," Maher said to his guests, "I want to try a theory out on you why Trump is killing it, not just within the party, but he's beating Biden handily too."
"Because Xi [Jinping], President Xi of China, came to our state this week and met with Biden up in San Francisco, and they had a little summit. And they did something very interesting in San Francisco," he continued. "I mean, I have done many, many jokes as many comedians have about stepping in poop in San Francisco and, you know, it's a city that needs to be put under control. So they did! Because Xi was coming!"
"Put aside the fact that you only clean up with company is coming over?" Maher joked. "Okay, so they cleaned it up, they rinse off the street, the homeless, you know, God forbid the guy who sends us the fentanyl sees somebody on fentanyl."
"This, to me, is why Trump is winning, because he talks about, 'I'm going to open up the mental hospitals' -- I'm not saying these are necessarily a good solution," he added. "When he talks, 'I'm gonna put people in camps, the immigrants,' all this kind of stuff, and people just see a place, a country -- especially in the cities -- that looks out of control. And the fact that the Democrats could control it for three days, how about making it permanent?"
Maher is certainly not alone in criticizing California and Democratic leaders for suddenly cleaning up the streets of San Francisco -- getting rid of the trash, human excrement, and drug paraphernalia left by homeless addicts and vagrants, and criminals who also suddenly disappeared from public view ahead of the APEC summit.
Newsweek reported that Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom received particularly harsh but justifiable backlash for openly admitting during a press conference that the city had been cleaned up precisely because a bunch of "fancy leaders" from foreign nations were set to arrive for a visit.
"I know folks say, 'Oh, they're just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming into town,'" Newsom acknowledged. "That's true because it's true."
As for Maher's theory about "why Trump is killing it" in the polls, there likely is some truth to his belief that the former president's tough rhetoric about the need to impose order on "out-of-control" Democratic-run cities, among other things, resonates with many voters.
Whether Trump can maintain that lead over Biden in the election that is still nearly a year away -- and whether San Francisco will keep its streets clean after the "fancy leaders" return home or revert back to its prior mess -- are questions that will remain unanswered for now.