For a guy who has spent the better part of two years running a campaign and a presidency against the news media, it didn’t take much for his feelings to turn. Ever since the President cut a deal with Democratic leaders on the debt ceiling, the media coverage has been “fantastic,” and the President is reveling in it. It appears that even the tortured relationship between Trump and Morning Joe might be repaired after all.
This is all according to a source quoted by Axios news:
A Trump adviser says that after a tumultuous seven months in office, it had finally dawned on the president: “People really f@&@ing hate me.” For someone who has spent his life lapping up adulation, however fake, it was a harsh realization. This is a man with an especially acute need for affirmation.
This week’s bear hug of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer opened Trump’s eyes to one solution: Stop doing things that people hate, and start striking deals.
Who knows if this will stick. But there’s reason to think it might, according to Trump’s friends and aides. Here’s why, based on conversations Jonathan Swan and I had in the aftermath of the surprising deal:
He can blame Republicans for his troubles. Trump has convinced himself he was duped by GOP leaders into repealing health care and blowing his first seven months on a fool’s errand. If he can strike a few deals, he can reshape history to make the party — not himself — the culprit.
He can please the kids and New Yorkers. With the banishment of Bannon and his allies, Trump is left with a largely moderate to Democratic staff.
A senior administration official said of Trump’s deal with Chuck and Nancy: “He just wanted to do something popular.” He’s reveling in the coverage, including lavish praise from “Morning Joe.”
He can spend money, not take it away. Trump hates complex topics and gravitates to things you can build, such as planes or new infrastructure projects.
Remember he told Republican senators the House healthcare bill was “one mean sonofabitch.” He said he wanted the Senate version to be much more generous, with no worry about cost.
One senator recalled Trump saying: “We’re going to have so much … economic growth, that we’ll have so much money — more than you imagine.”
He can liberate himself. He feels boxed in inside the White House and felt handcuffed to GOP leaders. No more. He had it with McConnell — thinks he’s past his prime, no longer capable of leading. Considers him low-energy. He has much more natural rapport with Schumer, a friend from the New York days.
Yes, for all those reason and more, Trump has found a sweet spot where the media doesn’t hate him, as much. The question will be whether his voters are pleased with this development since most of the original cast, like Steve Bannon, has been banished from the White House. Where is the push on the nationalist front that propelled Trump with blue collar voters? That remains to be seen on things like tax reform and trade.
Some are asking now whether this is a sea change from last 150 years in politics. Is Trump the one to simply abandon the two-party rule and work with whomever can bring home the bacon? He’s not very entrenched in the details of policy, so anything that comes along he’s likely to sign and take credit for, whether it pleases Republican leadership or not. In some ways, Trump has put the GOP on notice for 2018 that he has little affection for them if they can’t get anything accomplished. In that regard, he has finally figured out how to play the parties against each other for his own benefit, and that prospect can be scary or comforting depending on how you look at it.