Stef W. Kight Apr 12, 2017
SaveSave story

How and when presidents pivot (and what Trump could do)

Dennis Cook, Kathy Willens, Darren Hauck, Evan Vucci / AP

Presidents frequently have to change their tactics or message at some point during their presidency, as D.C. lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti points out in their "Understanding Trump's Washington" overview:

  • George H. W. Bush relented to the Democratic Congress and agreed to tax increases to pass a budget in 1990.
  • Bill Clinton reformed welfare and agreed to a more balanced budget after a disastrous 1994 midterm election for Dems.
  • George W. Bush sent more troops to Iraq and backed an immigration bill allowing easier paths to citizenship after a bad 2006 midterm election for the GOP.
  • Barack Obama, in 2014, used an Executive Order to pass DACA and promoted Clean Power Plan and the Paris Accord after failing to pass bipartisan legislation.