It was inevitable, perhaps. Before President Trump even arrives in Hamburg, Germany, for the Group of 20 Summit on Friday, the headlines were blazing against him, setting a dramatic and dire stage for his arrival. A small sampling from the last 48 hours:
“Trump’s long list of disagreements with G-20 nations” (CNN), “Trump’s trip to Europe: unprecedented protests and unpopularity” (Newsweek), “Trump is about to face the first great test of his presidency” (Vanity Fair), “Trump heads to G-20 summit on a collision course” (Washington Post), “Angela Merkel sets collision course with Trump ahead of G-20” (New York Times), “Trump faces ‘uncomfortable conversations’ with world leaders at summit” (NBC), “As U.S. retires from world leadership, China and Germany step up” (Stars and Stripes), “Welcome to Hell: Protests to greet Trump, fellow leaders at G-20” (CBS), “Trump no match for Merkel in G-20 nations, survey says” (USA Today), “Trump’s ruined credibility threatens his standing at G-20 conference” (MSN News), “Mexico says Trump meeting unlikely to lead to big deals” (Reuters).
Meanwhile, the G-20 organizers insist their complex event is worth the effort and productive — “a glass over half full and rising,” according to John Kirton, co-director of the G-20 Research Group at the University of Toronto in Canada.
But even he appears to acknowledges that the press can be less than friendly.
“Media commentators see summits as little more than ‘photo ops’ where leaders try to show voters back home their importance on the world stage, or ‘hot tub parties’ for informal, freewheeling discussions that produce only platitudes in the end. Even when leaders make clear, collective commitments, many observers wonder if they will actually deliver them once they leave the global sunny summit peak and return to dark, distracting valleys of domestic politics back home,” Mr. Kirton writes in his analysis of the big doings, found at G20.org in multiple languages.
TRUMP AND PUTIN: THE INVISIBLE FACTOR
It’s an authentic global event: The upcoming meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will fixate the press for better and for worse. There is much at stake. But the meeting appears to go beyond mere politics.
“Trump has plenty to discuss with the Russian leader, including Moscow’s half-hearted efforts to combat ISIS in Syria while, oops, helping Syrians fight anti-Assad forces supported by the U.S. Trump may remind Putin to remind the Syrian leader about the American’s threat should he use chemical weapons again. Trump could seek help reining in North Korea,” writes Andrew Malcolm for HotAir.com
“The economic sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea and fomenting rebellion in eastern Ukraine have accomplished nothing, but the New York deal-maker can’t politically ease them. The pair will come out with a joint statement, embellished later by unidentified aides for audiences back home, emphasizing a few things they agree on — the fight against terrorism, for instance,” Mr. Malcolm continues.
“The most important result of the meeting is likely to be invisible, as each man personally sizes up the other. It’s natural. But as smart as these leaders think they are, such personal impressions can lead them astray. After Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev first met young John F. Kennedy in Vienna in 1961, he knew the new American president was a pushover. The Russian dispatched nuclear-armed missiles to America’s backyard. And the result was the Cuban missile crisis when the Cold War came the closest ever to Armageddon,” Mr. Malcolm concludes.
NEW HAMPSHIRE GOP REJECTS SANCTUARY CITIES
There are currently no sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants in New Hampshire, this according to the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies. One local official in the Granite State wants to change that, though. Kevin Cavanaugh — a Manchester alderman and a Democratic candidate for the state Senate — declared at a recent candidate forum that he backed sanctuary status for his city of 110,000, the largest in the state.
“Imposing sanctuary city status on Manchester or any other city or town in New Hampshire is both foolish and dangerous. Sanctuary cities from Baltimore to Chicago have seen consistently higher rates of violent crime than non-sanctuary cities,” counters Jeanie Forrester, chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
“This is on top of the potential loss of federal funding that will almost certainly accompany the designation. Cavanaugh’s proposal risks both the safety and well-being of every man, woman and child in Manchester and throughout the state. We simply cannot put our children at risk for Kevin Cavanaugh’s short-term political gain.”
The special election for the state Senate seat is July 25. Mr. Cavanaugh’s opponent is Republican David Boutin, who also flatly rejects sanctuary cities.
THE TRAVEL BAN GETS MIGHTY POPULAR
“The latest Politico/Morning Consult has revealed that a clear majority of voters support President Trump’s travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries. Six in 10 voters back the travel ban, with 60 percent of voters supporting the State Department’s new guidelines that require entrants to prove a close family relationship with a U.S. resident in order to enter the country — only 28 percent oppose them.”
So says the pollster.
“Since we last asked about Trump’s travel ban, we’ve seen a drop in those who oppose the executive order. Though, we’ve also seen an uptick in those who do not have any opinion on the matter or have yet to settle on one,” notes Morning Consult co-founder Kyle Dropp. “Republicans overwhelmingly back the restrictions, with 84 percent of GOP voters in support of the ban, and only 9 percent in opposition. The executive order is also popular among independent voters, who support it by a 56 percent to 30 percent margin. Democratic voters aren’t as supportive of the ban, with 41 percent supporting and 46 percent opposing.
POLL DU JOUR
• 47 percent of U.S. voters trust Republicans in Congress to handle national security, 33 percent trust Democrats in Congress, 20 percent are undecided.
• 44 percent trust Republicans in Congress to handle immigration, 38 percent trust Democrats in Congress, 17 percent are undecided.
• 43 percent trust the Republicans to handle the economy, 39 percent trust the Democrats Congress, 18 percent are undecided.
• 42 percent trust the Republicans to handle job creation, 40 percent trust the Democrats, 18 percent are undecided.
• 35 percent trust the Republicans to handle health care, 44 percent trust the Democrats, 20 percent are undecided.
Source: A Morning Consult poll of 1,989 registered U.S. voters conducted June 29-30
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