Think about it: What does presidential mean, anyway?

Donald Trump earned a bit of praise for reading a script off a monitor. Why is this a big deal?

Jeremy Binckes
March 2, 2017 5:40AM (UTC)

The adjective "presidential" was used to describe President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night speech to Congress. By giving Trump credit for reading off a script — and not venturing into his non-sequiturs about his electoral victory or the evil media — the media set a pretty low bar.

Reading, in and of itself, isn’t presidential. Anyone can read something off a script. 


Trump made no real changes to his policy proposals that would warrant him getting praise from the media, let alone Democrats. He’s still going to propose "extreme vetting" of immigrants and block entry from multiple majority-Muslim nations. His administration is still focused on rounding up undocumented immigrants, seemingly indiscriminately.

Just look at who Trump invited to his speech: guests specifically chosen because they were family members of people whose deaths the White House blamed on undocumented immigrants.

His speech may have represented a move-length act of decorum, but that only exists if you analyze it outside of context. For example, earlier in the day, Trump called the leader of the opposition party “incompetent.”


As for Trump's emotional moment when he talked about fallen Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, then pointed to his wife in the gallery? The president previously said that the raid in Yemen that left Owens dead was the fault of former President Barack Obama, under whose presidency the raid was formulated. He also blamed the generals, saying, "They lost Ryan."

Even the Oscars is a topic Trump focused on this week. He said that the historic Oscars flub was caused by people who were focused so much on him.

So before saying today that Trump is changing his ways, let's see what he does tomorrow first.


Jeremy Binckes

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