by Inae Oh · March 1, 2017
Despite the many falsehoods in the speech, pundits are praising his “presidential” pivot.
During his first major address before Congress Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump managed to stick to his prepared remarks without veering off into one of his signature, often incomprehensible, rants. The unusually staid performance inspired lavish praise from pundits and commentators, with several members of the media even marking the occasion as the moment Trump officially became president.
“He became President of the United States in that moment, period,” CNN’s Van Jones said in a post-speech wrap-up. The frequent Trump critic even crowned it one of the most “extraordinary” hours he had ever witnessed in American politics.
This is the best morning of Donald Trump’s presidency. He is basking in positive pundit reviews. All that tumult feels like yesteryear.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) March 1, 2017
But as pundits fawned over the speech, some pointed to Trump’s actions and policies during his first month in office, and the many inaccuracies and falsehoods he laid out in his speech, to caution against excessive optimism merely because he softened his tone. Examples included Trump’s move to eliminate key Obama-era environmental protections just hours before he told Congress he supported clean air and water, as well as his hard line approach to immigration, despite his new stance supporting compromises on the issue. Trump also began the speech by referring to Black History Month, an annual celebration he and his aides repeatedly botched last month.
By Wednesday morning, however, it’s obvious all Trump heard was the word “presidential.”