For most Americans, Presidents’ Day counts as a trivial holiday but this year it looks as if Donald Trump made the most of the occasion. Perhaps he saw results of new historian polls and noted that the five all-time greats shared common characteristics. Lincoln, Washington, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower all made a priority of finding allies in the pursuit of their governing agenda. They displayed determination and optimism rather than erratic plunges into apocalyptic gloom.
President Trump channeled that positive spirit in his speech before a joint session of Congress, emphasizing aspiration over anger, cooperation over confrontation. Even the president’s blue tie—in place of his customary red—signaled a cooler, calmer message.
Yes: it’s just one speech, but an enormous television audience helped President Trump refocus his administration on a coherent program of common sense, conservative reform. His GOP colleagues should feel relieved, while Democrats struggle to cope with a new Trump who’d rather make deals than wage twitter-wars.