The immediate opinions of President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress last night were glowing. In contrast to the angry ranting of Mr. Trump’s campaign stump speeches, his address last night was uplifting and optimistic. The president even took the opportunity to extend an olive branch to Democrats with an offer of bipartisan compromise.
There was little criticism of the style and tone of President Trump’s address. Talk show host Erick Erickson, a longtime critic of Trump, said in The Resurgent, “Last night, the President showed he really has found his footing. He showed he really can be up to the task of being everyone’s President. He showed he is invested in the job.”
Erickson said that the speech was not conservative, that “there was big government for everyone,” but that the policy proposals would not be remembered. “What does advance is how people left the speech feeling,” Erickson said. “And Americans had every reason to feel reassured that things will be okay in the Age of Trump.”
Polling by CNN supports Erickson’s assessment. The poll of speech-watchers found that a majority, 57 percent, had a positive reaction to the speech. Sixty-nine percent felt that Trump’s policies would move the country in the right direction after the speech. This is a 11-point increase from before the speech. By that measure alone, the speech must be considered a success.
In comparison, during much of Barack Obama’s presidency Rasmussen’s right track/wrong track poll showed that two-thirds to three-quarters of Americans felt the country was on the wrong track. The week of the election, only 32 percent believed the country was on the right track. The most recent Rasmussen polling, from Feb. 19-23, show that the right-track number is now up to 45 percent.
Sixty-three percent said that President Trump has had the right priorities. The needle ticked up here as well since 57 percent agreed with that statement before the speech.
Trump also got a small boost in confidence from those who watched the speech. Before the speech, 59 percent were very or somewhat confident in Trump’s ability to carry out his duties as president. After the speech, that number increased to 64 percent.
In his speech last night, President Trump proved that he can act presidential and assume the ceremonial duties of president. He inspired much of the country with optimism after eight years of national malaise.
The question is how long the new, presidential Trump will last.
Originally published on The Resurgent
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