The following is an excerpt from Steve Benen | February 6, 2017 | msnbc.com |
In April 1995, Bill Clinton’s presidency wasn’t going well. Republicans had just taken control of Congress for the first time in decades, and when the White House announced a prime-time news conference, most of the networks decided not to air it.
In a line he probably regretted soon after, Clinton told reporters, “The president is still relevant here.” The trouble, of course, is that relevant leaders don’t generally feel the need to talk up their relevance. The Democrat’s defensiveness was ultimately self-defeating.
More than 20 years later, Donald Trump’s presidency is experiencing its own problems, leading to a related, overly defensive claim. “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it,” Trump said on Twitter this morning. (Because if there’s one thing we think of when we hear the name Donald J. Trump, it’s “accumulation of data.”)
A boast like this may make the president feel better, but “everyone” clearly doesn’t know he calls his own shots – because if they did, Trump wouldn’t feel the need to brag about his decision making. Leaders who confidently call their own shots don’t need to whine about it. Trump sounds like a boss who’s desperately trying to convince himself and those around him he’s still in charge.
As for why the rookie president is making this misplaced boast in the first place, Trump appears to be responding to this New York Times piece, which noted, among other things, that the president doesn’t seem to know what policies he’s putting his signatures on.
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