In the first restrained — dare we say conventional — speech of his lifetime, Donald Trump delighted Republicans, disarmed critics (at least for a night) and left anyone who doesn't waste their day on Twitter with the impression of quick accomplishments and big, easily doable things ahead.
Bloomberg View calls it "Trump's teleprompter triumph."
With Trump officials basking in the reviews, the White House told reporters that the new executive order on migrant travel -- scheduled for release today -- was being delayed.
The pundits rolled over for a big ole belly scratch: Flipping around the networks' postgame coverage, the praise was almost completely unleavened by reality checks about Trump's track record or the minefields awaiting his agenda. I suddenly realized the incredible honeymoon Trump could have had if had played his cards even slightly differently.
CNN's Van Jones, former green jobs adviser to President Obama, said of the sustained applause Trump led for Carryn Owens, widow of Ryan Owens, the SEAL lost in the Yemen raid: "That thing you just saw him do, if he finds a way to do that over and over again, he's going to be there for eight years. ... He did something tonight that you cannot take away from him: He became president of the United States."
Savannah Guthrie: "loose and conversational." ... Nicolle Wallace on NBC: "the best speech of his political career -- his short political career. ... It felt like an intervention had taken place."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "The president has broken the mold in so many ways [but this was] quite a traditional structure." .... CBS's John Dickerson: "using all the rhetorical and symbolic tools at his disposal."
The big question: Will the tone and the aura last? Even a full day? Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. What will Trump give up?
But don't forget: Trump has proven to be a recidivist in the past. One close Trump-watcher warned us that last night's Reaganesque statesman is the same man: "He is a performer and his director(s) told him he is playing a different character tonight. It worked."
A senior administration official emails: "The speech was all [Stephen] Miller, but Ivanka worked hard on it with him on many of the parts, especially affirming that the president's desire to have an uplifting and aspirational speech was right. ...
"Notice the focus on women's health. It was Hope [Hicks]'s idea to add the upfront line about how 'we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.'
"Ivanka was working with Miller in his office in the afternoon on the speech, including the paragraph on 'paid family leave ... women's health ... clean air and clean water.' ...
"A week ago, Ivanka and Dina Powell [senior counselor for economic initiatives] met with the president on those parts of the speech with Steve Miller and Hope, and talked about those issues and how they would resonate in an important way."
Jonathan Swan's "12 things that mattered in Trump's speech":
Read the rest on our website, the Axios STREAM.
Jaret Seiberg of Cowen Washington Research Group alerts clients:
Steve Schmidt on MSNBC: "The Democratic Party is at its lowest point of power in this country since the 1920s. And the Democratic response was made by a 72-year-old, retired, two-term governor from Kentucky [Steve Beshear]. Not by Kamala Harris. Not by Kristen Gillibrand. Not by the Castro brothers. Not by anyone who has a future in the actual Democratic Party. Just amazing ineptitude. ... And on a personal, I do wish the hostages behind him well."
Rachel Maddow, to Schmidt: "There were a number of mannequins with him. ... The response is always trouble. It's always bad. I hear ya on this. I don't think this sinks to the level of Bobby Jindahl."
N.Y. Times Quotation of the Day ... Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.): "I don't think Republicans have decided what they're waiting for — the White House or Godot.".
One of the best launches in TV last year was Bloomberg Media's "The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations," starring the philanthropist and Carlyle Group co-founder and co-CEO, who had developed the unexpected sideline of conducting fascinating, funny onstage interviews with the intriguing and powerful.
Season 2 launches today with Rubenstein sitting down with Oprah Winfrey — cleverly enough, in front of a live audience. Per Bloomberg: "Future episodes capture him travelling the country to speak with Duke men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Former CIA Director David Petraeus, and Nike co-founder Phil Knight."
What Oprah told David:
See the episode here beginning at 8:30 a.m., and on Bloomberg TV tonight at 9.
Penguin Random House won the book industry's most coveted contract: a deal to produce the memoirs of former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, AFP reported:
Josh Earnest, to Stephen Colbert on a special live, late-night edition of "The Last Show":
YouTube here for Earnest on Spicer, fake news, Fox News and more.