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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "presidential"

Trump “becoming presidential” would be his doom

Westlake Legal Group TrumpAngryFingerPt715 Trump “becoming presidential” would be his doom The Blog presidential National Review donald trump 2020 Elections

The latest general election polling and presidential approval ratings numbers haven’t held a lot of good news for Donald Trump. Some surveys have him back down in the thirties and the head-to-head matchups against the Democratic frontrunners don’t have him being able to beat anyone but Elizabeth Warren. (That doesn’t mean he couldn’t still win in the electoral college, but the popular vote would be a trainwreck if these forecasts proved true.) So what can the President do about it?

Over at National Review, Conrad Black has a suggestion. He points out that Trump has really come through on many of his campaign promises and delivered some results. And if the economy manages to avoid a recession for another fourteen months, there’s little reason that he couldn’t secure a second term. But what he needs to do in order to assure that, at least in Black’s opinion, is abandon some of his more incendiary tactics and start acting a little more presidential.

If the president can become a bit more presidential, his reelection will be all but assured.

This is the time for President Trump to deprive his enemies of the last weapon that could be employed against him that could cause him any harm: the largely false, but still troublesome, issue of his personality and routine behavior…

It does the president no favors to pretend that there are not still a significant number of people who have an uneasy feeling that although his administration is in policy terms quite successful, and the president has faithfully tried to carry out most of what he promised in the raucous 2016 election campaign, he is yet too bombastic and evidently egocentric to maintain the dignity of his great office. This is a widely held view, even among many who support the president for his policy successes and the well-conceived initiatives that are still in the balance, especially trade and other negotiations with China, and the attempted revival of nuclear non-proliferation in respect of Iran and North Korea.

The author goes on to point to people such as Peggy Noonan (a frequent Trump critic these days) who he believes would warm to the President and rally to his defense if he abandoned his “bellicosity toward his opponents, and his tendency to be nasty and personal towards them.” He also points to Donald Trump’s apparent need to respond to any perceived slight or insinuation, offering the “sharpie map” showing the recent hurricane threatening Alabama as an example.

While I find Conrad Black a solid thinker, allow me to completely disagree in this case. I’m assuming that the phrase “more presidential” means acting more like all the other presidents who preceded Trump in recent history. This, in my opinion, would be a disaster for Donald Trump.

You see, all of these perceived faults being pointed out – and I’ll admit that some of them put me off from time to time also – are precisely who he is. That’s the person America elected. They all saw him at his many rallies both before and after the election, pounding his fist on the lectern, pointing his finger, railing against his opponents even as he poured praise on his allies. He was a disruptive force in a political world many had grown skeptical of, filled with cookie-cutter politicians who spoke and acted the same, analyzing every word in every speech to the nth degree, just to ensure they didn’t offend anyone.

And now you want Donald Trump to turn into just another Washington politician?

Trump needs to keep (and if possible, grow) the support of the people who sent him to office. And all of the bombast and abrasive rhetoric is part and parcel of what they signed on for. They wanted a fighter, even if he fights dirty some of the time.

And here’s the other factor I believe Conrad is overlooking. In terms of nearly all of Trump’s critics who gnash their teeth over his “unpresidential behavior,” it wouldn’t matter one bit. Nothing will be forgiven if Trump suddenly undergoes a personality transplant overnight. He will still be the Bad Orange Man and they will find reasons to shout about everything he does. No amount of “better behavior” is going to change that.

For better or worse, Trump is being himself and that’s the man who was improbably elected in 2016. If a different, more milquetoast Trump shows up for the 2020 race, I wouldn’t bet a plug nickel on him.

The post Trump “becoming presidential” would be his doom appeared first on Hot Air.

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Paul Krugman: Since when do we give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to people who hit golf balls for money?

Westlake Legal Group paul-krugman-since-when-do-we-give-the-presidential-medal-of-freedom-to-people-who-hit-golf-balls-for-money Paul Krugman: Since when do we give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to people who hit golf balls for money? Trump tiger woods The Blog presidential Obama Michael Jordan medal of freedom Golf

Westlake Legal Group tt Paul Krugman: Since when do we give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to people who hit golf balls for money? Trump tiger woods The Blog presidential Obama Michael Jordan medal of freedom Golf

A leftover from yesterday. Imagine how bad your takes need to be for this to *not* be your worst take this year:

His worst take this year was posted on March 6, when the partisan brawl over Ilhan Omar inspired him to say that the American left’s total superiority to the American right extended even to the quality of their anti-semites. No foolin’.

But stay tuned. It’s only May. I’m excited to see what he’s got saved up for us this summer.

His opinion on Tiger Woods isn’t terrible in principle, it’s terrible as applied. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the country’s highest civilian honor. It’s not outlandish to believe that to earn that you should need to do more than be the greatest golfer the country’s ever produced and have earned a zillion dollars. Civic awards on this scale must, you might reasonably conclude, honor momentous contributions to the United States itself, preferably involving great sacrifice. Think MLK or astronauts, not golfers. If you’re going to honor athletes, focus on people whose careers meant something far beyond the playing field. Jackie Robinson, whose family received the Medal of Freedom posthumously on his behalf from Reagan in 1984, was an obvious choice.

Unless you were in a coma before Inauguration Day 2017 like Krugs here, though, you know that this particular horse left the barn ages ago. The list of Medal of Freedom winners is lo-o-o-o-ng and chock full of celebrities, not civic giants. Andrew Stiles has a list of some of the recipients under Obama: We can grant him Steven Spielberg and Meryl Streep, I suppose, as they’re each undeniably legends of their craft, but … Gloria Estefan? Tom Brokaw?

Lorne Michaels?

Trump honoring Tiger Woods somehow devalued the currency of an award that had already been given to … Lorne Michaels?

Krugman’s tweet is knee-jerk anti-Trumpism at its laziest. If anything, Tiger was overdue: Arnold Palmer got the Medal of Freedom in 2004 from Dubya and Jack Nicklaus followed him a year later. Had Woods not derailed over his skirt-chasing scandals soon after Obama took office and then spent a decade trying to get his game back, it’s a cinch that O would have awarded him the Medal, one racial pioneer in his field to another. Instead it had to wait for Trump.

Exit question: How is it possible that Elvis never received the Medal of Freedom until Trump corrected the oversight last year? If we’re going to honor celebrities who’ve shaped modern American culture, he’s basically Exhibit A.

The post Paul Krugman: Since when do we give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to people who hit golf balls for money? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Biden: I asked Obama not to endorse me

Westlake Legal Group biden-i-asked-obama-not-to-endorse-me Biden: I asked Obama not to endorse me The Blog presidential Obama endorse democratic biden amtrak 2020

Westlake Legal Group b-21 Biden: I asked Obama not to endorse me The Blog presidential Obama endorse democratic biden amtrak 2020

This is like winning Powerball and saying, “I asked the lottery people not to hand me the check because I want to earn that $500 million on my own.”

Although, given Obama’s understandable reluctance to gamble on Biden, it’s really more like saying like that after you *didn’t* win Powerball.

It is true that the other candidates would have needled Biden for needing Obama as a crutch if O had endorsed him out of the gate. It’s also true that they’d each give one of their kidneys to have that endorsement, knowing how much it would mean to Democratic voters generally and to black voters in particular. Meanwhile, ask yourself this: Which of the perpetually important early states is Joe Biden best positioned to win?

Iowa? No way. Iowa’s caucus tends to reward passionate grassroots support. Not Biden’s forte.

New Hampshire? That’s in Bernie’s and Elizabeth Warren’s backyard. Sanders crushed Hillary there in 2016 and led Biden by double digits in the latest poll.

Nevada? That’s another caucus state, where Bernie came within five points of victory three years ago. Union strength there gives Uncle Joe an opportunity, but if Biden doesn’t win Iowa or New Hampshire he’ll fly into Nevada with traces of flop sweat already visible.

South Carolina? Now we’re talking. That’s a primary state, not a caucus. Biden’s made many friends there over his thousands of years in government. And South Carolina has a reputation as a kingmaker, with four of the last five nominees having won the primary. (The one exception, in 2004, saw John Edwards from neighboring North Carolina take it.) What makes the state notable among the early primaries is the composition of its electorate: It was 61 percent black in 2016, when Hillary crushed Bernie there and righted her wobbly campaign. Obama ran Hillary off the field in SC eight years earlier, beating her by nearly 30 points and proving that his upstart challenge was very much for real. Kamala Harris is counting on it to be a stronghold for her next spring, on the logic that whoever’s strongest with black voters not only takes the state but tends to take it decisively.

So tell me — given how important South Carolina is to Biden and how important black voters are in winning South Carolina, how much do you suppose he covets the endorsement of the first black president? Enough, you think, to be willing to endure some grumbling from the rest of the field about not winning “on the merits” if O turned around tomorrow and backed him?

There’s zero chance of Obama endorsing him early for the simple reason that O doesn’t want to bet part of his legacy on Biden’s staying power as a presidential contender. He’s run twice before with dreadful results. Let him prove he can hold a polling lead, gift-wrapped for him via name recognition, for a few months on his own. A more interesting question would be what Obama might do if the field narrows and we end up with a Biden/Bernie death match. In that case it may depend on who’s winning: If O senses that Bernie’s likely to prevail no matter what, a futile endorsement on Biden’s behalf might backfire by demonstrating his irrelevance to the party in 2019 and antagonizing the left, who’ll influence how history remembers him. If the race were a true toss-up, with Obama possibly able to propel Biden to victory by supporting him, that may be harder for O to resist. Even though the left would hate him even more afterward.

The post Biden: I asked Obama not to endorse me appeared first on Hot Air.

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