President Trump began a new phase of his presidency Tuesday evening with a new tone: upbeat, if only by Trump requirements, and just possibly looking to make a few offers.
But the optimism in the speech was tempered, and of a distinct sort –- centered on the president who was the center of interest. Trump continued to depict a nation with a shrinking middle class, a listless foreign policy, saddled by debt, and with drugs pouring over the borders, criminal cartels and immigrants committing murders, and a crumbling program of roads and bridges.
Enter, in Trump's telling, Trump: "In 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet."
For a evening, his tough edges had soft tones. From a man criticized for from time to time failing to condemn racism and anti-Semitism amongst his supporters, he supplied a condemnation of "hate and evil in all its forms."
From a man promising a "deportation force" and decrying undocumented immigrants as killers and racists, he supplied a potentially startling shift with a get in touch with for "genuine and constructive immigration reform."
From a man who seemed to blame the death of a Navy SEAL on those who designed the raid, he supplied a raw and emotional tribute to a legacy "etched into eternity."
From a man who has utilised his Twitter feed as an insult generator –- even after getting elected president –- came an uncommon declaration.
"The time for trivial fights is behind us," the president stated. "From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears."
In that message are shades of the economic nationalism that got Trump elected –- and that he views as crucial to his policy successes from here.
"Americans must put its personal citizens very first, due to the fact only then can we really Make America Good Once again," he mentioned.
It is not the slogan that will bring about quarrels, at least not by itself. It’s the policies that Trump is propagating –- policies that have evolved only minimally from his scorched-earth campaign.
He supplied no give in his plans for a border wall, immigration crackdown, renegotiated trade deals, and tax cuts. Of course, he drew massive applause from only half the room with his call to “repeal and replace Obamacare” – without supplying the fresh details of his program that are now bedeviling his own party.
“Obamacare is collapsing -- and we will have to act decisively to guard all Americans. Action is not a option -- it is a necessity," he stated. "Why not join forces to lastly get the job completed, and get it carried out appropriate?"
Democrats will have plenty of answers to that query. The president’s handful of enticements for his opponents -– his vision of uniting on paid family members leave, clean air and clean water, and infrastructure investments – are probably to be stifled by the information of his actions, not his words.
Nevertheless, the president's tone was striking.
"Every little thing that is broken in our nation can be fixed. Every issue can be solved. And every single hurting family can find healing, and hope," he said.
No matter whether this portion of the shift marks a genuine pivot from an unpredictable president, or head fakes from a political figure who's created his name via distractions, remains to be observed. Probably this is a president becoming presidential, or a businessman returning to his deal-generating roots, or a political shape-shifter showing a new skin that won't final till daybreak.
At bottom, nevertheless, this looks like new marketing around a familiar -– and nonetheless generally severe – agenda. If there's optimism in America, it’s nevertheless confined to a base that's channeled its hopes and expectations into a nonetheless-untested president.
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