One should never feel sorry for anyone working in President Trump’s White House. They volunteered for this dreadful and chaotic administration. But it’s hard to envy those tasked with writing drafts of his State of the Union address.
Trump is an incumbent who behaves as if he is in the opposition. He relishes bemoaning the terrible things happening to the country on his watch—after two years of unified Republican government.
At the same time, it’s hard to recall a president more boastful about how great he is and how he has accomplished more than anyone who has ever held his job, which presumably includes Washington, Lincoln and FDR.
Trump is so in love with bragging that he even touts events that are anything but achievements.
On Jan. 4, 2018, Trump proudly tweeted: “Dow just crashes through 25,000. Congrats!” He recycled the same thought last Wednesday: “Dow just broke 25,000. Tremendous news!” Think about it: Taken together, the news from the two tweets is that the stock market has been flat for a year, hardly joyous tidings for investors.
But recall that Trump told us years ago in “The Art of the Deal” that he engages in “truthful hyperbole,” which can “play to people’s fantasies.” The problem is that we never know for certain if the fantasist himself believes the tales he is spinning.
The latest fantasy, described over the weekend to journalists by Trump aides, is that his speech on Tuesday will be a unifying, bipartisan call to end old divisions and heal old wounds.
Good luck with that, especially since his aides say he’ll also focus a large part of his speech on immigration.