Trump’s performance last night in his non-State of the Union address was as close to presidential and cordial as we have seen him. He reached out to Democrats in the hall to join him, and make progress for the American people. In one segment he did criticize harshly the Obama Administration and then asked Democrats to work with him. A slap and a smooch. But at least there was a peck on the cheek. Then again yesterday morning he basically called Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi incompetent, but at night sought her support.
So, which is the real Donald Trump? Well, I think we’ve seen that answer, that the tweeting, combative Trump is the true personality. But did he learn last night that he might see his poll numbers reverse themselves if he tried the charming, reach-across the-aisle Trump for a while?
Maybe it was the change in ties. Each man on the podium – Trump, the Vice President and the Speaker of the House – wore blue ties. Which I guess means blue is the new red.
Then again, Trump wore a striped tie, maybe to show he can change stripes when he chooses?
He did fall back on “radical Islamic terrorism,” a phrase his new NSC advisor, and most in the diplomatic world, thinks should be scrapped. Then again he owed his base some red meat too, so he threw that in and the great wall on our southern border to boot.
He didn’t offer any specifics. Of course, few presidents in such a speech offer any specifics so he shouldn’t be marked down for that. But as he hits the trail to reinforce his speech messages, let’s hope he offers some specifics and sticks to his more presidential personality.
And so far this morning, no nasty tweats from the Tweeter-in-Chief. But he has tweeted an all-capital letters “THANK YOU.”
Scotty Pelly on CBS said after the speech that it was a speech “about we, not me.” And that was the key difference.
This morning there is a parade of politicians and pundits running to catch up to the Trump bandwagon. That isn’t atypical after a decent speech but we must remember the bar was as low as it’s ever been for the President.
The question is: Can he maintain last night’s posture or will it, too, be treated as just one more transaction to him?