“This is a lot different than doing ‘Low Energy Jeb.’ When it does not involve smearing and innuendo, and it does not play solely on people’s emotions, then he is in trouble,” said Timothy O’Brien, author of the biography “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.” “He doesn’t argue well when there is an obvious fact pattern at play. That is his Achilles’ heel.”
O’Brien pointed to last winter’s government shutdown, the Republicans’ failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act and slow movement on his push to build a wall along the border as instances of Trump’s bravado failing to help him win the political argument or public sentiment. In the first two instances, Republicans suffered politically and had to back down — an approach anathema to this president’s never-ending-fight approach — while courts have struck down many of the president’s boldest immigration moves.
The other communication problem for Trump heading into impeachment is that, while his base fiercely supports him, his aggressive style of saying whatever is on his mind can turn off potential suburban voters. Losses at the state level in Virginia, leading to Democratic control of the statehouse, and the loss of the governor’s race in red Kentucky bolstered Republicans’ angst about the way his moves could inflict deep damage on the GOP in 2020.