On the morning of his debut speech to Congress, Donald Trump awarded himself high marks as president – except on communication.
"In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C+," President Trump told Fox News.
Trump may well revise the grade, after delivering the most polished, optimistic address of his short political career on Tuesday night.
After almost six weeks in office, Trump supporters hope he is hitting his stride and has learned from his early stumbles. The next phase of Trump’s crash course in public service now moves to Congress, where he will embark on the delicate task of trying to pass a budget, and legislation on health care, tax reform, and immigration.
Whether this proves to be the long-awaited pivot toward a more presidential Trump, or a rare night of polished oratory remains to be seen. And while even Democratic lawmakers and commentators agreed that the president showed a new face Tuesday, some offered a caveat: A more effective communicator of an unacceptable agenda makes Trump more dangerous.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell points to a particular moment of “optimism and compassion” in Tuesday’s speech: “Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing and hope.”
"Trump’s overall goal of the address was to instill in Congress the 'will to govern,' to compromise where possible in an effort to get things done on behalf of the American people," writes Mr. O'Connell in an email. "It's not an easy task in a broken, bipartisan town like Washington, D.C. But on this night, he succeeded."