Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020

Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020
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The Mueller report has been publicly available for nearly a week. It’s doubtful that many outside the Washington, D.C., chattering class have thoroughly read it. It’s even less likely that many minds have been changed as a result.

The president’s supporters remain steadfast; his detractors are still resistant.

The biggest political question is: What’s the report’s impact on the sliver of truly undecided, persuasible or swing voters who will determine who wins the 2020 presidential election?


Congressional Democrats are hellbent on picking every speck of dirt against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE out of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE’s report on Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election and magnifying it exponentially. Some believe that will help them cobble together enough votes to impeach the president (although they acknowledge there’s a snowball’s chance the Senate would remove him from office). The smarter ones believe it’s fodder for their efforts to retake the White House next year.

For the president and his team, the best advice comes from British politico and sage, Benjamin Disraeli: “Never complain; never explain.”

That’s much easier said than done. But the American people are clearly signaling “collusion-theory fatigue.” They’re ready to move on, to focus on the things that matter to them and their futures.  

For the president to get sucked into the trap of explaining every action, daily proclaiming his innocence or complaining about how unfair this has all been, would be a mistake. It also would be a missed opportunity to take big steps towards re-election while the Democrats are stuck trying to get to the bottom of the mountain of evidence of conspiracy they claim to have but Mueller couldn’t find.

President Trump has a good story to tell. It doesn’t involve complaining or explaining.

It’s dead center on Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump sues to block NY prosecutors' subpoena for his tax returns Most voters say there is too much turnover in Trump administration RNC spokeswoman on 2020 GOP primary cancellations: 'This is not abnormal' MORE’s campaign axiom: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Under ordinary circumstances a president with an economy performing as well as ours is would be virtually unassailable. But these are not ordinary times.

With more jobs, fatter paychecks, lower taxes and even lower unemployment, “stay the course” is a pretty good theme. But there’s more.

President Trump’s recent dust-ups with the Fed’s monetary policy are a good example. He was right that further quantitative tightening didn’t work. His proposed appointment of Steve Moore to the Fed is a huge step, helping to further promote the two most important words in the domestic policy lexicon: economic growth.

Successfully getting Moore on the Fed Board and adding a second pick much like him would send a powerful message. It’s one that ordinary Americans clearly understand and support: Faster growth is better than slower growth.

Continuing the rollback of outdated or unnecessary regulations will further boost the economy and the president’s prospects for re-election.

A trade deal with China would be a monumental accomplishment for the Trump administration. Some analysts project that a successful deal would send the market soaring by 4,000 or 5,000 points. That may be overly bullish but there’s no doubt that it would have a very positive effect on the economy.

A China trade deal also would relieve the pressure caused by escalating tariffs and threats of tariffs. The market has reacted in predictable fashion to virtually every new tariff or threat, something that has hurt the 401(k)s of the Trump constituency. Moving that impediment aside would have both an economic and political benefit.

Another thing the Trump administration can get done before the 2020 campaign is in full swing is passage of a comprehensive infrastructure package. Beyond merely providing additional funding for roads, bridges, ports and pipelines, Trump can establish a long-term solution for the Highway Trust Fund.

Short-term, status quo “fixes” have been tried for the past 25 years, making temporary transfers to the fund without addressing the systemic shortfalls.

The Constitution specifically mentions only defense and roads as items on which money should be spent. With the current Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act set to expire next year, the time is ideal for President Trump to score a major win for both public safety and economic growth.

A growing economy unites us, something especially important in these divisive times. As the rising tide lifts all boats, it buoys the political prospects of the sitting president.

President Trump has done a lot for the economy. There’s more to be done. Focusing on the successes of doing it won’t require any explanation. And it won’t get any complaints.

Charlie Gerow, first vice chairman of the American Conservative Union, has held national leadership positions in several Republican presidential campaigns. He began his career on the campaign staff of Ronald Reagan. A nationally recognized expert in strategic communications, he is CEO of Quantum Communications, a Pennsylvania-based media relations and issue advocacy firm.