President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address will likely benefit from epically low expectations, according to CNN’s Monday morning panel discussion.
During “New Day,” Republican commentator David Frum of The Atlantic, noted that all Trump must do is clear an extremely low bar.
“Look, if President Trump gets through the hour without putting a fork in somebody’s eye he will be praised as the most presidential president since the most presidential president,” he said.
Substitute co-host Poppy Harlow clarified that if Trump merely sticks to the teleprompter he’d gain critical acclaim.
“Just for not doing something hideous,” Frum agreed. “There is a special Trump scale where he is graded differently from any other president. If he just behaves like a functioning human being for an hour, we think he’s done a great job.”
Historian Tim Naftali noted that the Davos speech speaks to the possibilities from Trump he could be more successful because it was a pro-DREAMer message.
“I don’t have any questions left about Donald Trump,” Frum said about the possibility of Trump’s polling increasing. “He has answered every question I have. And I think we all know who he is. We all know what he is, we all know why he’s president, and what got him into that job. So, I think the question for all of us is how do we protect the country during the remainder of the presidency. There are no serious questions left about what kind of person he is.”
Harlow was shocked Frum had no expectations of Trump, but the former George W. Bush speechwriter said you can train anyone to deliver a speech.
“You can train a seal to sit on the side of the pool for an hour and behave itself,” Frum said. “That doesn’t make it no longer a seal. If Donald Trump can get beyond an hour of good behavior, he has done that before, but that doesn’t tell you what will happen at an hour and five minutes.”
Just weeks ago, Trump bragged about being “like, a really smart person” and called himself a “stable genius.”