President Trump will probably never win over his harshest critics on the left, but with his address to Congress on Tuesday night, he may have finally won their acceptance. The Democrats will continue to fight him with everything they have, but this lingering sentiment that he’s not the REAL president…that he’s somehow illegitimate…that idea may have come to an end at long last. Standing behind the podium, Donald Trump fully inhabited that intangible “spirit” of the presidency for the first time.
Trump’s speech was soaring, optimistic, and well-written. The message was in keeping with everything he’s said all along, but the words were less focused on the darkness and more focused on the light. Beyond all of that, Trump’s mere presence was undeniable. Between the words was something greater than words. And it was that ethereal quality that forced even Trump’s detractors – like CNN’s Van Jones – to admit that, like him or not, he IS the President of the United States.
In the chamber, Democrats spent most of their time sitting in their seats, glaring at President Trump while Republicans showered him with one standing ovation after another. But even the Democrats may have been caught off-guard when Trump opened his speech with a direct confrontation of the anti-Semitic vandalism that’s been in the news and an unqualified condemnation of hate and violence in all its forms.
“This is not what they expect from a Republican president,” said Newt Gingrich on Tuesday’s night’s “Hannity” program. Gingrich said he kept a close eye on Sen. Elizabeth Warren throughout the evening, noting that Trump even managed to break through her stony facade. “Every once in a while towards the end, she broke down and applauded.”
On CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “For people not committed to Donald Trump already, he did become presidential tonight.”
Back on Fox News, Sen. Ted Cruz praised Trump’s “bold, positive speech” as containing a message that “millions of Americans have been hungry for.”
“It was an encouraging night,” Cruz said.