CHARLOTTE, NC: As the world holds its collective breath waiting for the sound of the all-clear signal from the clutches of COVID-19, many Americans have had an opportunity to pay closer attention to the sausage grinder that is Washington politics. It isn’t pretty. In fact, sausage making is downright disgusting and shameful. As part of that process, thanks to the current global pandemic combined with modern technology, we have had closer personal contact with President Trump than ever before. Or at least, most of us sense that we have.
After watching the coronavirus briefings for a couple of weeks now, there are a number of takeaways that can be realized from the process.
To begin with, it’s an election year, so political sniping is at its peak.
That’s a given and it will never change. Though he is a businessman and not a professional politician, Donald Trump is a quick study, however. And he is as capable of playing politics as the usual Washington suspects who roam the halls of political influence.
Trump’s opponents are screaming bloody murder that the president is using his daily pandemic briefings to boost his run for a second term.
Of course, he is. How can he avoid it? The media and the people demand that he stand up and take responsibility. Provide access to his Coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence. Was V.P. Pence elevated to lead this task force to position him for 2024?
Or, if you were in President Trump’s position, wouldn’t you take advantage of America’s undivided attention? Wouldn’t they if they were in power? You better believe they would.
The strategy behind the President’s daily briefings
The President has cleverly taken the strategy another step forward by holding his announcements late in the afternoon. If you remember, they were first held in the late morning. First, the later briefings give him the advantage of having most of the day’s developments at hand.
By making his announcements late, Trump also has the benefit of pre-empting the opportunity for critics and opponents to react or respond during the prime dinner viewing hour. Which, if done intentionally, is genius. And don’t we appreciate having a genius at the helm?
Not surprisingly, Trump boasts about his television ratings which have to do more with the hunger for up to the minute information than a public desire to watch the president.
Despite that, rambling and redundant as he may be, Donald Trump is there.
He is on the scene. He is visible. Whether you love him or hate him, or whether you agree or disagree with his efforts to battle the crisis, the president is actively doing what he was elected to do.
Trump is seemingly tireless in running the country
He is totally involved. One has to wonder when all of this ends and the campaign resumes whether either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders will have the physical stamina to keep up with our blond Energizer Bunny? Hilary Clinton couldn’t do it and chances are good that neither will Biden or Sanders. (The Many Ways That Joe Biden Trips Over His Own Tongue)
America’s Optimistic Cheerleader
Even before Donald Trump became president, he never projected anything but a positive attitude toward any and every endeavor he undertook. Every episode of The Apprentice was promoted by Trump as if it was the Gone with the Wind of reality television.
So optimistic is the president that you have to wonder if he was not greatly influenced by another New Yorker, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. Peale is the author of The Power of Positive Thinking. Trump is unquestionably an eternal optimist which is one of his greatest assets.
Especially in a political arena where a positive outlook is particularly galling to opponents.
The President’s war with the virus overtakes the President’s war with the media
There is no love lost between Donald Trump and the media. The president saying at a recent briefing that he believes that overall the press has been fair in its reporting of his handling of the pandemic.
Being misquoted is one of Trump’s pet peeves, however. In fairness to the media, it is easy to see at times how his statements can be misinterpreted given some of his free-wheeling responses.
In commenting recently about a timeline for the end of the virus, Trump said it would be nice for it to be over by Easter for a number of reasons. CNN immediately began reporting that Trump had predicted that Easter would be the deadline for the end of coronavirus threat.
That’s the type of reporting that not only creates false hopes but increases distrust between journalists and their subjects.
Trump never said COVID-19 would be over by Easter, he said it “would be nice” to see it end by Easter.
CNN’s Don Lemon saying that the daily briefings are the President’s replacement of his massive rallies.
It is not what the President says, as much as what the President does
The best summation of how to understand Donald Trump came from veteran Fox News correspondent Brit Hume who advised that we should pay little attention to what the president says and focus upon what he does. As Hume sees it, Trump is pragmatic enough to listen to his advisors while his words merely serve to fill in the blanks of each fluid stage of the virus at any given moment.
Technology has brought all of us closer to having contact with an active president than ever before. Time will ultimately determine the president’s success or failure in the messy coronavirus pandemic.
For the moment at least, we should all be thankful for Donald Trump’s commitment and dedication to leading this battle for the American people.
Now it’s time for Democrats to give it a rest and do something positive to help rather than to hinder.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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Lead Image: Samsung Promotional Image with drop-in screenshot from Coronavirus briefing