CNN has become so unrelentingly anti-Trump that it really stands out when they publish a story that seems to have something positive to say about the president. As I write this, one of the top articles on the network’s homepage is titled, “Aides quietly stunned by Trump’s respectful handling of Kavanaugh accuser.” Okay, that’s more of a left-handed compliment, but remember this is CNN:
Multiple West Wing officials and outside advisers feverishly phoned Trump on Sunday in the wake of Ford’s detailed account of the assault she says happened when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
“Why would I attack her?” Trump asked, according to two sources with knowledge of his remarks.
Rather than lashing out in anger or defensiveness, Trump said Monday he’d like to “see a complete process.”
“I’d like everybody to be very happy. Most importantly, I want the American people to be happy, because they’re getting somebody that is great,” he said…
Trump’s more tactful approach earned him kudos from those around him, serving to reinforce his position.
Ivanka Trump has also highlighted the positive response the President has received for his measured reaction.
As I pointed out yesterday, Trump really has handled this pretty well. He spoke to reporters in front of the White House yesterday and said, “If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision.” That’s especially noteworthy because he’s not a Senator who is going to vote on this, he’s the president who selected this nominee. He’s literally expected to be a partisan in Kavanaugh’s corner and yet he’s leaving room for the possibility that something Ford says could change people’s minds.
CNN adds that, according to unnamed aides, one reason Trump is taking it easy on Ford is “partly because the allegation isn’t against him.” That’s a jab but the reality is that this does impact him, even if the allegation isn’t aimed at him directly.
Trump was elected in no small part on the promise of nominating conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Failing to get Kavanaugh through the nomination would be a major blow to his administration. He certainly knows that. And yet, he’s handling this pretty well.
Of course, that could all change at any moment but for now, the GOP has the upper hand in part because they are handling this pretty well across the board. Democratic cries that Christine Blasey Ford is being railroaded and revictimized (by being given a chance to testify with or without cameras) look pretty cynical, especially coming just a day after Democrats demanded just as loudly that she be allowed to speak. If the GOP can keep handling this well for a few more days, it will be a boost to the party as a whole.