The State of the Union was political malpractice

If the president and his advisers were thinking strategically, they would have first looked to the past to guide them. There are three areas in the next six months that could help redefine the Trump presidency, make Trump look like a commander-in-chief, and give him a shot at re-election in 2020.

First—through no effort of his own—Trump is in a position to end the longest sustained combat mission in American history: the war in Afghanistan. Many Americans—Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike—would be happy if the president brought the war to an end with a responsible agreement that brings our troops home. My views on Donald Trump are well known, but I also know that achieving a settlement in Afghanistan ain’t beanbag.

Second, Trump may get a breakthrough agreement with China on trade. If he is successful, the president will be able to say he pulled it off because he was willing to go to the brink with China. That’s another area where Americans across the political spectrum could applaud him because they will benefit from his efforts.

Third, the president has rallied European, North American, and South American countries in opposition to an autocratic failed government in Venezuela.