The new president's 16-minute address tipped his hand — in ways both subtle, and stunningly blunt — about his political plan for the coming years. Yes, he plans to pound his America-first, Washington-sucks message that the establishment and media hate. But it was telling how much time he spent talking about infrastructure and jobs for ALL Americans, twice sounding racially inclusive notes.
Stephen Miller, the speech's principal writer, and Steve Bannon, whose worldview dominated and who helped with the prose , see a huge infrastructure bill as a way to attract voters, especially minorities, who opposed Trump in 2016. They argue privately they will shake up voting coalitions if they run new roads, repair tunnels and provide web access to other classes or regions of forgotten Americans. They also believe tariffs and bullying of corporate-outsourcers will change some minds, too.
The coastal bubbles hated the speech. But, like the campaign, it wasn't aimed at them.
Bannon told Bob Costa the address was "an unvarnished declaration of the basic principles of his populist and kind of nationalist movement. … I don't think we've had a speech like that since Andrew Jackson came to the White House."
Bannon suggested: "I think it'd be good if people compare Xi's speech ... and President Trump's speech in his inaugural. Axios' enterprising Jonathan Swan did just that, and you can see his findings in the Axios STREAM.
Speech first ...
The address made "dark and dystopian" great again …
One of the underpinnings of the Trump team's plans is the notion that the quislings in the establishment fail to see the world as it actually is. This is nasty, brutish and short, applied to governing. There's plenty of delusion among the establishment, but Trump's speech overcorrects. An AP Fact Check ticks off three ways he overshot:
Kellyanne Conway (seen above in what she calls "Trump revolutionary wear," with Hope Hicks and Steve Bannon) to Willie Geist on "Sunday Today," about SNL's spoof of her: "If you're going to be mocked it might as well be that affectionately. It was adorable."
Usually the N.Y. Times Public Editor opines, but Liz Spayd broke news yesterday afternoon while the parade was lining up: Times reporters last fall prepared a story delving into evidence of "a covert connection … between Donald Trump and Russian officials trying to influence an American election." But the draft "never saw daylight" because of internal "doubts about the material and with the F.B.I. discouraging publication."
GQ's Jason Zengerle quotes Obama alumni who hope he "will break with the tradition of deference and support that outgoing presidents typically offer their successors": "Obama, who was grateful to George W. Bush for retreating from the public arena and not commenting positively or negatively on his actions, recognizes that with Trump as his successor, he will likely not have the luxury of standing on custom."
Rory Smith, N.Y. Times chief soccer correspondent, finds the Adidas scouting network in England is more sophisticated than that of the Premier League's giants: "Matches involving 8- and 9-year-old players are scouted [by the clubs] … While smaller-scale players on the scene — such as Puma, Under Armour and New Balance — still prefer to focus on securing contracts with established stars, Adidas and Nike both have established talent identification departments, an approach they have honed in America in … basketball and football."
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