The news on Friday confirmed – beyond a shadow of a doubt – this fact: The US economy is booming.
The economy added 263,000 jobs in the month of April, and the unemployment rate is now just 3.6% – the lowest it’s been since 1969! On top of the better-than-expected GDP news last month, it’s now quite clear that President Donald Trump is overseeing an economy going gangbusters.
And yet, for all of the successes of the economy – and the fact that a majority of Americans (56%) give him credit for his handling of the nation’s finances – Trump’s job approval ratings remain mired in the low 40s, a dangerous place to be for a sitting president ramping up a reelection bid.
Which brings me to a radical idea I have been kicking around for a while now: Trump’s best chance at winning would be to cease issuing statements – or tweets – about anything other than the economy. And to cut ALL statements and tweets down to, roughly, one a day.
No Mueller report. No name-calling of potential Democratic candidates. No nothing – other than tweeting or speaking about the current state of the economy. And doing that once a day.
Yes, such a strategy might prompt accusations that Trump is hiding from the media. Or that he is walking away from things such as building the border wall that his base quite clearly values.
But such an extreme approach to his public pronouncements would also give Trump the best chance to bridge the current chasm between people who think he is doing a good job on the economy (a majority of the public) and people who approve of the job he is doing overall (43% in the latest CNN-SSRS poll).
That gap seems, quite clearly, the result of the fact that people simply do not like Trump and his overall approach – bragging, bullying etc. – to the job. What better way to make people focus on the part of the Trump presidency they do like (the economy) than by downplaying the part they don’t like (Trump personally)?
To be clear: This will NEVER happen. Trump is not capable of the sort of discipline it would require. And, even if he were, other issues would likely crop up that, as president, he and his advisers would feel compelled to address.
But, I propose it to make this point: Trump’s biggest hurdle to a second term is his personality and behavior in office.
The Point: A less divisive – and less abnormal – Republican president, with this same economic record through two-plus years of his term, would be sitting pretty for reelection. Trump, because he is Trump, isn’t.
And now, the week in 33 headlines:
- White House reviewing Moore’s comments on women, Sarah Sanders says
- Trump accuses New York attorney general of illegally investigating NRA
- Trump team sues Deutsche Bank and Capital One to keep them from turning over financial records to Congress
- Defense Department agrees to send approximately 320 personnel to US southern border
- Trumps, Pences leave Teacher of the Year ceremony to DeVos
- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigns
- Trump hosts his first women’s sports team solo event at the White House
- Trump goes after Biden and against advisers’ advice
- Ex-US North Korea envoy says Trump approved signing of Warmbier pledge
- Trump campaign manager gave paid speech in Romania
- Democratic leaders Pelosi and Schumer meet with Trump on infrastructure
- Acting Homeland Security secretary says administration will ask Congress for more border funds this year
- Trump introduces sweeping changes to asylum in memo
- Democrats say $2 trillion for infrastructure agreed to after meeting with Trump
- Fed pick Stephen Moore says ‘I’m not anti-woman’ amid wavering GOP support
- Barr defiant amid furor over his handling of Mueller report
- White House bemoans renewed focus on Mueller report, Barr fallout
- Mueller expressed frustration the day after Attorney General Barr released summary of special counsel report
- Trump tweetstorm takes aim at Biden’s firefighter support
- Undocumented former Trump club employees say they sometimes worked without pay
- Pompeo says military action in Venezuela ‘possible’
- House Intelligence chair calls on Barr to resign
- White House asks for $4.5 billion in emergency funds for border
- William Barr to skip House hearing Thursday
- Barr’s investigation into origins of Russia probe expands
- White House complained to Barr that Mueller should have decided on obstruction
- Stephen Moore out of Fed contention
- Trump honors victims, laments ‘witch hunts’ at National Day of Prayer service
- Trump admin seeking to get money to Venezuela’s Guaido