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Joe Kennedy on Trump: Bullies may land a punch

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) says that despite the efforts of some to keep the American people down, the country will continue to persevere.

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 5:53 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 5:53 AM

Somehow, President Donald Trump has become the voice of bipartisanship and cooperation in Washington, while Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have taken a decidedly negative tone on major issues -- chiefly immigration. This stance was on evident display Tuesday night at the President's State of the Union address.

Trump, whose initial compromise immigration plan shocked some last week for its willingness to offer a path to citizenship to the Dreamer population, was met with hostility by Democrats who seem to have forgotten who won the election.

The President again offered a cooperative tone to do something out of reach for the past two administrations: comprehensive immigration reform. He even flatly stated that neither side "will get everything they want," which sounds like a President who understands he must govern from the middle on complex issues like this one.

Time and again, Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer, as Politico's Jake Sherman noted, couldn't bring themselves to stand for Trump's calls for bipartisanship. They look petty and small in the face of a President honestly trying to forge a solution to a problem that has festered for years.

Regardless of what happens on immigration (and I predict progress of some kind), Trump also nicely laid the groundwork for the Republican midterm campaign to come by touting the GOP's tax cut and positive economic news.

"Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history," Trump said, a reminder to Americans that Republicans are capable of following through on promises after a period of policy stagnation under Barack Obama.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has become Trump's best partner in Washington, himself sounded the same message in an interview with Fox News earlier in the day, noting that not one Democrat voted for the tax cut.

"Democrats don't like cutting taxes," the ever-succinct McConnell put it. In the House chamber Tuesday night, McConnell looked like the cat who ate the canary while Trump extolled the tax cuts (and judicial appointments) he successfully moved through the US Senate.

Even if Trump doesn't make campaign appearances in some battleground districts, you will hear his tax cut themes echoed in GOP advertising throughout the fall.

"Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses -- many of them thousands of dollars per worker...This is our New American Moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American dream," Trump said, also touting rising wages for American workers.

The challenge ahead for the White House and Republican Party: maintain a disciplined messaging approach that connects Americans' positive vibes on the economy to the President's job approval.

Where this will be particularly critical, one White House official told me a few weeks ago, will be in the suburbs, where college educated, right-of-center voters, perhaps turned off by the President's tweets and rougher edges, need a reason to stick with a party they reluctantly rallied behind in the waning days of the 2016 election.

Going into the 2018 campaigns, another issue with the potential to recapture support among independents and suburban voters is tackling the opioid crisis, which the President was smart to highlight. Calling for a crackdown on drug dealers is good politics, but more details and concrete action are needed to stem this deadly tide. He might have spent more time on this section, as a great deal of his presidency will be judged on how America responds to this crisis over the next few years.

The speech also offered some good old-fashioned Trump-style populism. He slammed government inefficiency when it comes to building infrastructure, touted deregulation, said he ended the "war on coal," asked Congress to direct all foreign aid to America's "friends," and reminded us all to stand for the National Anthem.

These items continue to play well in Flyover Country, even as they cause Washington Democrats to roll their eyes. Trump has never lost his touch when it comes to putting Democrats on the wrong side of issues that play 80-20 in middle America.

Overall, I give the President high marks for a speech well-crafted and well-delivered. It hit the right notes on the economy and used invited guests to effectively to tell the story that Republicans want to tell -- this presidency is keeping promises, revving up the economy, and keeping us safe.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
Orange12822
Scott1203
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Marshall1082
Carroll932
Daviess8816
Steuben832
Wayne825
LaGrange812
Wabash782
Newton7810
Fayette777
Jasper671
Washington521
Jay520
Clay511
Fulton491
Rush472
Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35513

Reported Deaths: 2155
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5862262
Cuyahoga4444226
Hamilton2672150
Marion266628
Lucas2267242
Pickaway207437
Mahoning1431174
Summit1420173
Butler89329
Columbiana79353
Stark72791
Lorain68759
Montgomery66316
Trumbull57348
Belmont42912
Warren37321
Miami35730
Tuscarawas3434
Ashtabula33934
Medina33722
Delaware33713
Portage32557
Lake30812
Wood29446
Clark2856
Geauga28432
Wayne27450
Fairfield2676
Licking24810
Allen21232
Mercer2117
Clermont2115
Richland2003
Erie17214
Darke17021
Madison1567
Washington11819
Crawford1144
Morrow1071
Greene1015
Ottawa9916
Putnam9214
Sandusky7911
Monroe7812
Auglaize733
Ross712
Hocking694
Jefferson672
Hardin610
Huron581
Williams551
Union521
Muskingum520
Hancock501
Clinton431
Shelby433
Wyandot412
Fulton410
Fayette400
Coshocton400
Logan390
Holmes391
Preble371
Guernsey351
Defiance342
Carroll313
Lawrence300
Brown291
Champaign281
Highland251
Knox251
Vinton212
Seneca202
Ashland200
Athens181
Perry181
Scioto160
Henry150
Paulding140
Jackson140
Adams101
Harrison100
Gallia81
Van Wert60
Pike60
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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