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Trump’s Habit: Turning Obstacles into Advantages

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Even his harshest critics recognize President Trump’s habit of turning obstacles into advantages. In the primary campaign, the fact that 17 well-qualified Republicans ran against him was supposed to make his victory impossible.  But in fact it divided the more cautious, mainstream voters while giving Trump an unbeatable edge among all those who hoped a non-politician might deliver dramatic change.

Similarly, the fact that polls show him beginning his presidency with only a minority holding high expectations for presidential success, could easily work to Trump’s advantage as he confounds dire predictions by opponents and the press. Barack Obama had an approval rating of 81% when he took over the presidency so there was nowhere to go but down—and he lost Congress in a landslide two years later. For Trump, media skepticism about his abilities, leaves him nowhere to go but up – and even modest success in achieving some of his initial goals could allow him to exceed expectations and build critical momentum.

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  1. Jim Bird  •  Jan 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Turning obstacles into advantages is what Americans who work in the private sector do every day. The government, virtually at all levels, does exactly the opposite. They use our production to destroy us while enriching themselves. Not only was Trump the only candidate for President to recognize this but he explained it brilliantly in his inauguration speech when stated, paraphrasing, "… the D.C. establishment (meaning both sides of the aisle) are hereby put on notice to stop destroying people's labor. It will NOT happen on my watch." The other 17 deaf and dumb ass Republican candidates NEVER figured out what THEIR VOTERS were screaming about for the last eight years, with the exception of Cruz.
    So McCain, McConnell, Graham, etc., if you want to hear yourselves talk, obstruct at every turn, roll your eyes – pull your chin – wring your hands or pick your nose, then there will be a Civil War. You have been put on notice by your respective electorates – STOP DESTROYING US.

    • John Iver Mulak  •  Jan 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      I assume that you are someone that meets a lot of red tape from the government as you run your business Jim. That must be very frustrating. Our government comes from us though and I think we all are responsible for keeping the tone right and doing our best to avoid a 'civil war'. (Are politicians really "enriching themselves"? Aren't McCain and others' experience and knowledge needed too?)
      I hope Trump and all of us can try to speak more 'softly' as we do the right thing. There is a kind of civil war going on, I know, but we have a great country for the most part with many leaders that are trying to do the right thing. Let's not assume evil motive as we argue against bad policy. It can put people on the defensive and make it more difficult to get things done.

      • Jim Bird  •  Feb 4, 2017 at 1:56 pm

        I agreed wholeheartedly with your line of thinking before Obama and as a result have many Liberal friends and family members who, believe it or not, thought I was liberal. Most of my conservative friends thought I was a lib too. In general, many democrats are constantly selling their Party bullet points while republicans never talk politics. They typically discuss a political issue if it directly impacts their daily life, good or bad. Democrats used to do this as well when America was a true two-party system but not any longer. They are out for blood with their hate-filled rhetoric and rioting.
        I did not think that I had a volcano-button in me until Obama and their Party Leftists started dismantling our country as well as reeking havoc around the world.
        I respect every bit of your comments. We need a two-party government, not a monarchy. I just hope the D.C. establishment gets the message loud and clear and NOT go back to business as usual.

  2. Henry  •  Jan 22, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    I hated Trump’s speech when I heard it live. I had my own speech in mind, and he didn’t deliver it. How wrong! … But upon later reflection I realize that his speech was brilliant. (Only time will tell if it were more brilliant than mine!) That’s because he wasn't speaking to those of us whose 2nd through 17th choice was Trump, but to those who were in tune with him all along. For it was the talk of a man confident that he will deliver. Mohammad Ali, Joe Namath, Steve Jobs. To wit:
    – “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” This will go down in history as one of the greatest lines in US oratory. For it is a slap in the face of the left’s recent decades of using race, gender, and religion to divide and confuse our nation. For ‘e pluribus unum’ is all about tolerance and melting pot, not bias and salad bowl. Thus it is the patriotic American who disowns prejudice, not those intent on destroying the nation.
    – “… most importantly, we will be protected by God.” There’s a thought! 241 years after our rights and dreams were declared “endowed by their creator,” 154 years after Lincoln's reaffirmation that we are a nation “under God,” 63 years after Eisenhower insisted we are better than the communists because we are “one nation under God,” it is refreshing to hear that we still hold our trust in God despite the at least 44 straight years of forces attempting to eradicate the notion. Yes, In God we Trust has been reaffirmed this day.
    – “The time for empty talk is over.” Barack Obama came in with flowing speeches and departed with a flowing speech. But there was almost no action in between to bring folks together, no getting people off of welfare, no uplifting those trapped in poverty, no better police image, no less murders in Chicago, no slowing the ambitions of Iran or Putin; no help for Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and now Turkey; no stopping ISIS, no peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and no mention of the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorists.’
    – “We will … unite the … world against radical Islamic terrorists.” The mention. On day one. It’s a new day to be sure!
    Either the man is brilliant, or he is one lucky son of a millionaire. (Sorry for the length of this.)

    • Dorothy McGinnis  •  Jan 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Excellent. Under God again at last.

    • Bill  •  Jan 27, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      I agree. I thought the speech was pathetic. But it was correct and needed.

  3. Rizzo  •  Jan 22, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Henry,
    Please allow me to include one more magnificent quote: "this isn't just a transfer of power from one president to another or one party to another. We are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people."

    The words of a King, Nani? I think not.

    • Henry  •  Jan 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      For sure, Rizzo! And many more. … I was trying to be brief as folks tend to tune out of posts that are too long. : )

      • Jim Bird  •  Jan 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

        President Trump's inaugural speech was the only one I've listened to, live and in its entirety, in my life. I've listened to excerpts (most all are "broken promises" and platitudes) but I knew Trump's would be different and he did not disappoint! His first official day in office was a blockbuster and Sean Spicer is brilliant! I too wanted numbers 2 through 17 but not any longer! The Dude does what he promises. One guy, that both parties did not like, did the impossible with a commoner sense message: "I will do what I say I will do." Period. The Democrats are in total disarray, with their "corruption cartel" fully exposed. They have turned to Kamakazi tactics and have been put on suicide-watch, running in circles
        like headless chickens. I would say I love this, but I wish the dems would kick the Marxists, leftists and anarchists out of their party for good. I don't think it will happen anytime soon though. They're truly disgusting. Rizzo and Henry, keep up your great commentary and if you ever get to SoCal, maybe we could have "beer summit" at the beach.

  4. John D. Fiat  •  Jan 23, 2017 at 2:55 am

    I concur. However, weren't these approval ratings compiled by the very same bunch who said Hillary was leading the polls by 13 points?

  5. Carol Brick  •  Jan 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Yesterday I was lite Bing to your program during disagreement, a listener call about illigal immigrants receiving welfare. You said it is not true. You are completely wrong MICHAEL here is Washinton state any illegal are qualified for welfare without a social security number. The policy here in Washington is bade on needs not immigration status. Each State is free to set up its own policy in regard to welfare. Just wanted to clarify that for you. By the way California is the same way.

  6. Charles Irish  •  Jan 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I believe these words of Thomas Jefferson are very significant for our times
    "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

  7. kevin meechan  •  Jan 27, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I was not in love with the inaugural speech and was not a supporter but much preferred him over Hillary so am glad he won. Although he is continually confounding and frustrating (excessive tweets and lashing out at every opponent rather than focusing on the tasks at hand) I suspect he will surprise a lot of us and should not be underestimated. Although the left will continue to underestimate him as they do with all Republicans to the advantage of Trump and the right. Let's hope the President and the Rep congress seize this once in a generation (?) opportunity to roll back Progressivism.

  8. Robert A Wymer, cdr/mc/usn(ret)  •  Jan 29, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Concerned citizens and the media, pro & con Trump, spend too much time characterizing personalities, tone, perceived motives, or style (Hitlarian, Populist). How about investigating/reporting on some of the issues:

    TRUTH or FALSEHOOD of the individual elements of Trump’s inaugural address

    PROFITEERING of career politicians

    SURRENDER of legislative authority to the 400+ wasteful rules and regulation generating bureaucracies and agencies

    NONE operating on basis of merit, without oversight of duplication or of the value/consequences of product, neglecting evaluation of the foot thick yearly Federal Register. Billions of waste in this system

    SPENDING: Redundant staffing of all government services, inefficient internal management styles, lack of zero based budgeting, surrender to a economy and dollar destroying Federal Reserve

    NEGOTIATING with nation adversaries (Iran, N. Korea) before they have rescinded their declarations of war, and stated threats of military force. Since when should a longstanding declared war against us go without consequences directed at perpetrators or others enabling them?

    OPEN, INSECURE BORDERS, aside form opinions on to whom and for how many the borders should be open to for LEGAL immigration

    APPROACH to correcting the dysfunction, crime, safety of citizens and businesses in inner-city areas—in effect occupied like a foreign power, by gangs and criminals.

    GLOBAL WARMING—Open, more inclusive and honest debate on CO2 and the extent of human causation. Science is never “settled" or excluded from new knowledge except among fanatical ideologues and religious cults.

    These and other issues are not discussed or debated. Instead, division emanates from personal animus, intolerance, avoidance of listening to or evaluating contending opinions. Division and lack of progress is guaranteed by those who instigate violence, hatred, intolerance, or will not engage in rational discourse.

  9. Robert A Wymer, cdr/mc/usn(ret)  •  Jan 29, 2017 at 2:49 am

    If Sessions continues the justice dept look into the Clinton email and foundation issues, Trump might be advised by others to pardon her. But he cannot pardon her alone because others left to answer for the wrong doing will sing like canaries, implicating others in the State Dept, maybe even Obama. The swamp indeed is deep. The truth may service us all, even more than justice in this situation. There must be a Shakespeare quotation that applies here.

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