When this is all over – the coronavirus – Americans will understand that once the federal government fully grasped the breadth of the virus crisis, it moved with “soberness, speed and a spirit of cooperation.” What the coronavirus has done, writes Kimberley A. Strassel in the WSJ, is separate those who are leading from those who are seeking political advantage.
As leader, President Trump has a style that is not necessarily for everyone. But make no mistake: Trump is certainly leading.
Trump Reaching Across the Aisle
He addresses the virus in stark terms but also insists on optimism—something that’s important from leaders in tough times. While punching back at some critics, he’s also reached across the aisle.
- Trump embraced Democratic calls for more-stringent corporate rules in Congress’s relief bill.
- Asked about the $25 million Democrats slipped in for the Kennedy Center, Trump defended it: “I really believe that we’ve had a very good back and forth.”
- Trump has rushed to the aid of blue-state governors, and has praised Democratic state leaders, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, for their efforts.
CNN’s Jake Tapper this week practically begged Mr. Newsom to recant his recent praise for the president, suggesting the Democrat had given it only out of fear that Mr. Trump would “punish” his state’s citizens. Mr. Newsom was having none of it.
Governor Newsom: “The fact is, every time I’ve called the president he’s quickly gotten on the line. There’s just too many Americans—40 million that live in this state—that deserve us to get together and get along.”
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken a similar approach: “His (Trump’s) team is on it. They’ve been responsive… I want to say thank you.”
Coronavirus Attacks Red and Blue Americans
This week Cuomo chided partisans: “Not now… The virus doesn’t attack and kill red Americans or blue Americans—it attacks and kills all Americans.”
Contrast this with Mrs. Pelosi, continues KAS. The House Speaker seems to view the pandemic as one big political opportunity.
(Pelosi) held up last week’s relief bill for days, attempting to cram into it unrelated election and climate provisions. She used a Sunday CNN appearance to accuse Mr. Trump of killing Americans.
This week she announced a new special House committee that will “examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus” and will have subpoena power. This is yet the latest Democratic machinery for investigating Trump and ginning up scandals.
The Guy Carping from His Delaware Basement
Joe Biden might have used this moment to buttress his claims to be the more dignified candidate by throwing his support behind the federal effort and making clear he’d save his policy disputes for later. He instead spread the false claim that the president had called the virus a “hoax.”
Mr. Biden has bashed Mr. Trump on testing and on the use of the Defense Production Act. He’s accused the president of “failing to prepare our nation” for a pandemic (never mind the Obama-Biden role in any such failure). He even blames Mr. Trump for soaring unemployment numbers.