Entering President Trump’s Tuesday night speech, the pundits were wondering if President Trump could “pull it off.” Frankly, I thought that Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer were facing the biggest hurdle, much like the rebuttal speaker faces after a State of the Union Address.
Let’s face it — the Oval Office projects great power to the viewing audience. A lonely hallway in the Capital doesn’t. That’s the natural setting. Things went downhill for Democrats from there. Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer didn’t know what President Trump’s speech contained so they spoke from the Democrats’ talking points. That was a major mistake. Here’s part of the transcript from Pelosi’s and Schumer’s speeches. Notice the talking point tone to Speaker Pelosi’s opening:
I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly to the American people tonight about how we can end this shutdown and meet the needs of the American people. Sadly, much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice. The president has chosen fear. We want to start with the facts.
The fact is: On the very first day of this Congress, House Democrats passed Senate Republican legislation to reopen government and fund smart, effective border security solutions. But the president is rejecting these bipartisan bills, which would reopen government over his obsession with forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall — a wall he always promised Mexico would pay for.
I’m betting that most viewers noticed the repetitive lines in their speeches (eg- expensive and ineffective wall.). Here’s the opening paragraph of Sen. Schumer’s speech:
My fellow Americans, we address you tonight for one reason only: the president of the United States — having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective, unnecessary border wall, and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill — has shut down the government. American democracy doesn’t work that way.
What worked more against Schumer’s and Pelosi’s speeches were their appearance:
President Trump’s speech was powerful, disciplined and effective. Here’s the most effective part of President Trump’s speech:
This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end. My administration has presented congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem.
Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the Department of Homeland Security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.
While ‘Chancy’ spoke about government shutdowns, President Trump spoke about what law enforcement needs and the tragedies American families experienced. I’m betting people care more about human tragedies than they care about whether government was open.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president.
Finally, President Trump stuck the shiv in one final time:
This situation could be solved in a 45 minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the white house tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.
In other words, he’s challenging Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer to negotiate in good faith. Unfortunately, I’m not certain they’ll do that.