We are six days out from the Inauguration, the press is still complaining about Donald Trump’s speech, and new polling shows a majority of Americans liked it.
You would never know it was an acceptable speech from the coverage of it. Even the opening paragraph of the Politico article on the poll is:
Dark. Negative. Divisive. That’s was the immediate narrative about President Donald Trump’s inaugural address.
And, to be honest, that is an accurate description of the speech. But Trump also painted a picture of an America, after eight years of Barack Obama, that most people agree with. We are a nation divided. That is not something Trump wants, but something he recognized in his speech.
Trump got relatively high marks on his Friday address, with 49 percent of those who watched or heard about the speech saying it was excellent or good, and just 39 percent rating it as only fair or poor. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed reacted positively to the “America First” message, the cornerstone of the Trump campaign and governing posture.
Americans are looking for Trump to put his slogan into action: 61 percent said they agreed with Trump’s plan that the federal government should “buy American and hire American.”
It should be very obvious at this point that Trump knows his audience and gave them what they wanted. They wanted to hear that he sees the United States, after eight years of Barack Obama, as a nation that left behind a lot of its people and they wanted to hear that he promises he will not leave them behind.
We have become accustomed to Presidents saying “the state of our union is strong,” even when it is not. I would not be surprised if Trump starts his State of the Union with “the state of our union is divided, but we’re going to make it great again.”
By the way, there is something to be said for a short speech. Americans like a short speech.