-- He’s had soaring moments and searing setbacks, distractions, scandals, unsubstantiated claims and a call for ending “trivial fights” that was followed by new rounds of the same.
The source of nearly all of that was one man: the president of the United States.
At the midpoint of his first 100 days, Trump has changed Washington more than he has changed himself.
He is also straining his own credibility and the credibility of the presidency, while coming perilously close to losing control of his bold agenda. He has faced down few real crises and can boast of no major legislative victories. Unified control of Washington has seldom felt this divided.
The contradictions of this president are on public display almost daily, sometimes hourly. The public has seen flashes of the transformational leader Trump promised to be -– and also more than equal doses of pettiness.
Little sustained effort at maintaining a presidential narrative is evident -– not in any traditional sense, at least.
Inside of 48 hours, however, Trump’s attorney general and campaign adviser was recusing himself from a nagging Russia investigation that’s threatening to swallow Trump’s presidency. An Oval Office fight between Trump and top aides was caught on camera the next day, and Trump flew to Florida for the weekend without most of his key staff.
The jarring pace of this administration played out with an initial travel ban that caused chaotic, emotional scenes and a judicial slap-down. A modified version of what began as a “Muslim ban” was unveiled more deliberately and professionally, offering a glimpse of what Trump might yet achieve with the right mix of personnel and policy.
Spicer delivered that line with a laugh. He’s right, of course – all of this is real, though it’s not a laughing matter.
Trump has remade the nature of the presidency, using bluster, Twitter, personal magnetism, and “alternative facts.” He has brought a divisive tone to a divided country, by doing much of what he said he would do, in the manner in which he’s become expected to do it.
Uncharacteristically, the president is spending this weekend – at the midway point on the march to 100 days -- in Washington, at the White House. President Trump is finding his own sense of comfort in a town that’s no more comfortable with him than on the day he was elected.