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Susan Walsh / AP

We wrote yesterday what the president SHOULD do in his address to Congress next Tuesday, and got hit with calls and emails from top White House officials about what Trump WILL do.

The news: Officials swear the speech, written by Stephen Miller and others with heavy input from POTUS, is decidedly more upbeat than his inaugural address — "optimistic and uplifting."

A top adviser said: "President Trump is determined to capture the sunny optimism of Reagan to temper the populist anger reflected in his core policies."

While aides dispute that Trump's inaugural address was dark in tone and substance, they concede it was viewed that way by all but true believers. For the Joint Session address, they are self-consciously trying to strike a happier tone for a broader audience, with lots of emphasis on what has been done to date — and what can be done in Congress this year (health care, tax reform and a new partial wall on Mexican border).

But, but, but ... We heard this same spin before his inaugural, and Trump's mostly red-meat campaign rally was supposed to be a message of "unity." So let's see if it's Charlie Brown and the football — or a real shift, even for one night.

  • Sound smart: They won't say it publicly, but Trump officials are actually TRYING to be normal. They feel good about their pushback against the Russia scandal, the pick for national-security adviser winning rave reviews from Rs and Ds, yesterday's shockingly ordinary tour of the National Museum of African American History.

In private, West Wing aides say the media should cut them slack, given this is a non-politician staffed by a lot of people new to Washington politics.

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Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Johnson & Johnson pulls the trigger on Texas talc gambit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's official: Johnson & Johnson has invoked a Texas legal loophole in an attempt to protect the bulk of its corporate assets from claims that its baby powder caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

Why it matters: It's the biggest and boldest invocation yet of the so-called Texas two-step defense. But it's still not clear whether it's going to work.

Poll: U.S. leadership approval rebounds from Trump low

A Gallup report published Tuesday found approval of United States leadership in 46 countries and territories hit 49% — up from 30% at the end of Donald Trump's presidency, and matching former President Obama's first year (2009).

Why it matters: Biden's efforts to reengage with the international community following the Trump administration appear to be improving the global approval ratings for U.S. leadership, though this poll does not take into account the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.