Ari Fleischer: “The speech tonight is more about Pres. Trump and less about specific policy. He needs to give people confidence he can do the job. He needs to come across as thoughtful. He needs to impress persuadable voters that he can do the job and that his policies should be enacted.”
And that, of course, is what Trump did.
The White House built up the speech. I was not looking forward to reviewing this speech because I knew what he had to say, and worried that he would not say it — or would not say it in a calm, cool manner.
But he used his soothing voice, bringing up black history week, threats to the Jewish cemeteries, and a racially motivated homicide in Kansas City. This set up the theme of unity, which is what the nation needs.
Three excerpts from President Trump’s speech:
The time for small thinking is over, the time for trivial fights is behind us, we just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts, the bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls, and the confidence to turn those hopes and dreams to action. From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations not burdened by our fears.
Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time provide better health care. Mandating every American to buy government approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance and that is what we will do.
My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clean water and rebuild our military infrastructure. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
By the way, that first line is a clunker. “The bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls”???
But toward the end of the night, he hit it out of the ballpark: “My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.”
And the optics were terrific.