The Donald is back, and he’s keeping the Democrats up at night as they try to find a way back into American politics.
I said that to myself as I listened to the president address that huge crowd of some 6,000 people in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday night.
There were reports that the line to the stadium was more than a mile long four hours before his scheduled arrival. Some camped out overnight to make sure they got seats.
When President Trump did address them, his bouncy enthusiasm, his asides that had me laughing aloud before I knew it or pumping a fist in the air and, yes, his patented Donald J. Trump confidence (he did mention a few times that the GOP is now 5-0 against Democrats in special elections contests since he took office four months ago) all reminded me of his nomination and general election campaigns. In them, his broke every political rule in the book.
No American had campaigned that way in my lifetime. He came off Wednesday again as unscripted (though he read from a teleprompter much of the time) and said things national-level politicians don’t say. They still don’t. Only he does. But he actually did it all even better, even than he did as a candidate.
Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans — yes, they’re still around — make fun of his having appointed wealthy men like Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary and as his economic adviser Gary D. Cohn, who was not just a Wall Streeter but one from Goldman Sachs, the very same outfit he dumped on as candidate Trump.
Populist-sounding presidents just don’t do something so stupid, Trump haters state and restate.
On Wednesday, the president took that argument spouted by his detractors and wrapped it around their necks.
“In those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person — does that make sense?” he said. Six-thousand ordinary people leaping to their feet and shouting yes was the answer that reverberated in newsrooms and board rooms of every major news organization. Whether anybody in those organizations actually heard it is another question.
The Donald/Mr. President chastised communist China’s President Xi Jinping for not slapping communist North Korea’s missile-rattling leader Kim Jong-un upside the head hard enough to knock some sense into him.
Even while blowing a few kisses Mr. Xi’s way, Mr. Trump made it clear he, as president of the United States, (and perhaps Defense Secretary Mattis?) would take it from here, thank you, President Xi. If that doesn’t keep Mr. Kim up at night, he’s not paying attention.
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