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The latest general election polling and presidential approval ratings numbers haven’t held a lot of good news for Donald Trump. Some surveys have him back down in the thirties and the head-to-head matchups against the Democratic frontrunners don’t have him being able to beat anyone but Elizabeth Warren. (That doesn’t mean he couldn’t still win in the electoral college, but the popular vote would be a trainwreck if these forecasts proved true.) So what can the President do about it?
Over at National Review, Conrad Black has a suggestion. He points out that Trump has really come through on many of his campaign promises and delivered some results. And if the economy manages to avoid a recession for another fourteen months, there’s little reason that he couldn’t secure a second term. But what he needs to do in order to assure that, at least in Black’s opinion, is abandon some of his more incendiary tactics and start acting a little more presidential.
This is the time for President Trump to deprive his enemies of the last weapon that could be employed against him that could cause him any harm: the largely false, but still troublesome, issue of his personality and routine behavior…
It does the president no favors to pretend that there are not still a significant number of people who have an uneasy feeling that although his administration is in policy terms quite successful, and the president has faithfully tried to carry out most of what he promised in the raucous 2016 election campaign, he is yet too bombastic and evidently egocentric to maintain the dignity of his great office. This is a widely held view, even among many who support the president for his policy successes and the well-conceived initiatives that are still in the balance, especially trade and other negotiations with China, and the attempted revival of nuclear non-proliferation in respect of Iran and North Korea.
The author goes on to point to people such as Peggy Noonan (a frequent Trump critic these days) who he believes would warm to the President and rally to his defense if he abandoned his “bellicosity toward his opponents, and his tendency to be nasty and personal towards them.” He also points to Donald Trump’s apparent need to respond to any perceived slight or insinuation, offering the “sharpie map” showing the recent hurricane threatening Alabama as an example.
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