Is “New Trump” For Real? Speech Raises Both Hopes and Fears

  • Calvin Wolf
  • Mar 2, 2017 12:26PM

The right is calling Tuesday night’s speech to a joint session of Congress the “Reagan moment” that struggling president Donald Trump desperately needed. Indeed, the new commander-in-chief delivered a speech that is widely considered, by almost all viewers, to be far better than his controversial inaugural address. Sticking to his script, Trump remained disciplined and avoided antagonizing his usual foes. Instead of playing the troll and portraying himself as the strongman needed to pull an eroding America out of violence and squalor, as he did on January 20, Donald Trump crafted a polished image and spoke of a bright, unified future.

Trump supporters loved the speech, and some pundits are even opining that the controversial billionaire could win re-election in 2020, a possibility that was considered extremely unlikely until last night.  However, those on the left remain unconvinced. Democrats in Congress are hoping that the public focuses more on Trump’s recent actions, especially cabinet nominations like Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, than glowing speeches.

Although Trump did appeal to liberals by calling for a new boom in infrastructure spending, he stuck to his guns on repealing Obamacare. On immigration, he struck a conciliatory tone and implied that he was open to a deal with Dems. Trump’s critics immediately pointed out that the speech, though far more professional than his inaugural address and notorious “tweet storms,” was devoid of details.