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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

President Trump: "Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda" Legacy?

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda...that's what President Trump's legacy will be when he leaves office IF he fails to, not only fulfill his duties to "serve and protect" the citizens of America, first and foremost, but also to be perceived to have so done.

CNBC's survey (conducted March 17-20) reports the following...


Notwithstanding the many accomplishments that President Trump and the Republican party have made over the past 14 months, I'd say that this is not good news as the mid-terms elections approach in November, inasmuch as they don't seem to be reflected in these poll results.

Perception plays a big factor in influencing human behaviour, maybe more so than facts, at times. It appears that the American public has not placed as much emphasis on those accomplishments as the Trump administration and GOP have...translation: resting on their laurels (and simply tweeting about it) has been of no benefit...nor is that about to change without a precise, prescriptive "fix."

From my perspective, I'd say that President Trump, along with his Republican party, will need to place a higher priority on, and take immediate steps to, firstly, accurately identify the reasons for such lack of support and favourability (diagnose the ailment), secondly, prepare the appropriate strategy (medicine) for it, and, finally, swallow that pill and take the appropriate actions needed to regain the public's trust, first and foremost.

My own perception tells me that the President's strategy, when it has come to his words and tweets about President Putin, are not reflective of his duty to "serve and protect" the American people...rather, they give the impression that he is more concerned with Mr. Putin's view of him than the people he serves. If this is correct, then the "fix" is in his hands ...he cannot afford to be, nor perceived to be, actively "stupid in a friendship with President Putin" and remain in office, nor does he deserve to be. Americans
are astute and will not stand for that.

P.S. From the volatility and massive price swings that have plagued the U.S. equity market since the early part of this year, I'd say that markets had already priced in any positive economic benefits from those Republican/Trump accomplishments. As noted on the following weekly chart of the SPX, the scale of the average trading range (in histogram format and based on an input value of 1) has reached the weekly ranges that were last made during the 2008/09 financial crisis.

If this kind of volatility persists going into the midterm election, this will not bode well for Republicans and President Trump. In my Market Forecast for 2018 post I projected that we'd see an increase in volatility and political uncertainty for 2018. Since then, I've written several posts about a variety of "volatility gauges" that can be monitored over the coming weeks/months for clues on equity weakness/strength here, here, here and here.

Market volatility may be one indicator as to the favourability of whether or not Republicans will retain a majority in the House and Senate, and, ultimately, the White House...no doubt, there are many others...it's up to them to figure that out.

* UPDATE April 17...

President Trump, by continuing to contradict already-released statements by your State Department (this one is the latest example), you emphasize your inability to formulate and carry out a cohesive strategy, without constantly flip-flopping and undermining your representatives...not a good look for a President, or for the U.S. when it comes to foreign affairs.

* UPDATE May 4...

Another one of President Trump's team thrown under the bus...

"He'll get his facts straight." 


A fact is definable, indisputable and remains unchanged...and, presumably Rudy's "facts" came from you, Mr. President, the source.

And, why you've got your lawyer speaking publicly about this (as well as yourself) is unseemly and foolish...as your backtracking today already proves. If you've hired lawyers to do their job, let them do so and concentrate on your own, which is to serve the American people, not yourself.

By the way, do your Press Secretary (as well as all the White House staff) a favour and insist that she (and they) refer ALL questions from reporters regarding any legal matters to your legal team and refrain from answering ANY of them. Sarah's being mercilessly dragged through the mud by the media for trying to do her job with the information she has at any given time...she doesn't need to be unnecessarily burdened with legal issues not in her purview. And it only adds to the media's never-ending narrative of chaos at the White House. Perhaps the issuance of a formal White House press release to emphasize that matter is in order.

Finally, loyalty and respect is a two-way street...your team can only support and properly represent you if you keep them in the loop. Keep them in the dark as you flip-flop on issues and you'll find yourself out of a job pretty quickly, at worst...or devoid of any staff, at best.

* UPDATE May 22...

We'll see if Republicans can build on this shift in momentum in their favour over the Democrats through to the mid-term election. How will President Trump contribute to this momentum, not only to November 2018, but through to the general election in 2020, and beyond? We'll see...

Source: NationalReview.com