What Happened to the Honeymoon? ; Even before the Inauguration, Trump Took over the Presidential Stage

By Krauthammer, Charles | Charleston Gazette Mail, January 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

What Happened to the Honeymoon? ; Even before the Inauguration, Trump Took over the Presidential Stage


Krauthammer, Charles, Charleston Gazette Mail


WASHINGTON The shortest honeymoon on record is officially over.

Normally, newly elected presidents enjoy a wave of goodwill that allows them to fly high at least through their first 100 days. Donald Trump has not yet been sworn in and the honeymoon has already come and gone. Presidents-elect usually lie low during the interregnum. Trump never lies low. He seized the actual presidency from Barack Obama within weeks of his election cutting ostentatious deals with U.S. manufacturers to keep jobs at home, challenging 40- year-old China policy, getting into a very public fight with the intelligence agencies.

By now he has taken over the presidential stage. It is true that we have only one president at a time, and for over a month its been Donald Trump.

The result is quantifiable. A Quinnipiac poll from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20 the quiet, hope-and-change phase showed a decided bump in Trumps popularity and in general national optimism. It didnt last long. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, the numbers have essentially returned to Trumps (historically dismal) pre-election levels.

For several reasons. First, the refusal of an unbending left to accept the legitimacy of Trumps victory. Its not just the demonstrators chanting not my president. It is leading Democrats pushing one line after another to delegitimize the election, as in: he lost the popular vote, its James Comeys fault, the Russians did it.

Second, Trumps own instincts and inclinations, a thirst for attention that leads to hyperactivity. His need to dominate every news cycle feeds an almost compulsive tweet habit. It has placed him just about continuously at the center of the national conversation and not always to his benefit.

Trump simply cant resist playground pushback. His tweets gave Meryl Streeps Golden Globes screed priceless publicity. His mocking Arnold Schwarzenegger for bad Apprentice ratings compared with the ratings machine, DJT made Trump look small and Arnold (almost) sympathetic.

Nor is this behavior likely to change after the inauguration. Its part of Trumps character. Nothing negative goes unanswered because, for Trump, an unanswered slight has the air of concession or surrender.

Finally, its his chronic indiscipline, his jumping randomly from one subject to another without rhyme, reason or larger strategy. …

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