As President Donald Trump raged this week in Mar-a-Lago about “Crooked Hillary” and a “TAINTED” FBI, we wondered: How might a more reflective — a more presidential — president look back on his first year in office?
We haven’t so much expected that Trump would take our rhetorical advice. Rather, we think it’s useful for all of us to remind ourselves that it doesn’t have to be this way: that presidential leadership, even if strongly partisan, can be civil, tolerant and inclusive.
With that in mind, we herewith offer some end-of-year presidential thoughts in chunks of 280 characters or fewer. Call it a more presidential tweetstorm:
“We got a lot done this year, I’m proud of that. Justice Gorsuch. Rolling back regulations. The corporate tax cut — it will jump-start investment and jobs. I know the economists disagree, but you know what? They’ve been wrong before, and I think they’ll be wrong this time too.”
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“But as I look back, I realize I’ve fallen short. The night I won, I promised you: ‘It is time for us to come together as one united people . . . I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.’ That’s what I said!”
“Well, all Americans means all, right? Transgender people, including in the armed services. Muslims, from no matter which country. People who came as refugees. Children of immigrants. NFL players, of any race.”
“And here’s something the president of all Americans wouldn’t do: tear down our great American institutions. I may not agree with everything the FBI does, but it is not ‘in tatters’ — it’s full of brave, patriotic men and women.”
“Our judges are honorable patriots too. If I don’t like a ruling, that doesn’t make them bad people. I can always appeal. And if I lose — well, no one is above the law.”
“The press — they’re just trying to do their jobs. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. But they’re not Fake News. Fake News is the Russians, deliberately spreading disinformation. We’ve got to do more to stop that.”
“And can you really be a president of all Americans if you’re not believing the women? I don’t think so. Of course I want a Republican majority in the Senate. But that can’t be more important than listening to women who were preyed on as teenage girls.”
“I apologize to them. I apologize for calling my own accusers liars. Sen. Gillibrand, I apologize to you.”
“In 2018 I’m going to fight like hell for what I believe in and for my voters. But I’m going to fight like hell for Hillary’s voters too. Whether they like me or not, I’m their president. This country belongs to us all. Let’s make it great for all of us.”
“Happy New Year.”