In his first public appearance since Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama special election to fill now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat, President Trump appeared to be as measured and presidential as he’s been than at any other point in his presidency.
On Wednesday at the White House, Trump delivered remarks on tax reform and stayed on message, not speaking off the cuff, and even yielded the floor to several families in attendance to speak on how tax cuts will help them out. In fact, just the night before, Trump’s first tweet after every news organization made the call that Jones defeated Moore came as a shock to many considering how many people thought we’d see the same defiant, reckless reaction that we’ve seen so many times.
Instead of Trump delivering a response like he did with Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race where he could drop him like a bad habit:
Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!
It appears that Trump’s ego is deflated, especially after an electoral defeat. What makes matters more interesting is that he’s usually carried this demeanor with him after sustaining a crushing defeat.
Remember the 2016 Iowa Republican Caucus? Trump lost to Sen. Ted Cruz by more than 3 percentage points and 6,000 votes. It was a decisive blow to Trump’s initial chances of becoming the Republican nominee after months of leading in the polls among 16 total candidates. It also really hurt his ego. He famously went quiet on Twitter for roughly 12 hours after the Iowa caucus was decided.
Maybe the Roy Moore loss not only humbled Trump, but also reminded him that he’s walking on thin ice with Republicans and Democrats in Congress. He wants this tax bill to go through, and he wants it done before Senator-elect Jones comes to Washington and gets sworn in. If that fails, 2018 will be a long year and Democrats will be more invigorated to snatch two vulnerable seats in Nevada, where Sen. Dean Heller is losing his grip on power, and Arizona, where Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring.
At that point, if both the Senate and House flips to the Democrats in the 2018 midterms, there won’t be anything stopping them from pushing for his impeachment. If that’s the case, maybe we’ll see Trump on his best behavior for a little while longer.
But, honestly, I wouldn’t hold my breath.