Visits Troops In Iraq Day After Christmas; Stock Market Rallies
The President used the surprise visit to further explain his decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan, and quiet critics who pointed out he’d never visited troops overseas, nor any at all over Christmas.
It was that snap troop withdrawal decision that apparently prompted the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, which Trump accelerated after considering the impact of Mattis’ sharply critical resignation letter.
The timing of Trump’s visit is pretty savvy, immediately taking attention away from the government shutdown and immediately helping the stock market soar for the day after days of rocky sessions. In fact, it was a big vote of confidence with the biggest one day point gain for the Dow ever. Perhaps also because the President spent very little time Tweeting during his travel, after a bitter and perplexing Christmas Eve Tweet-storm.
Bottom line: It’s a good move for Trump, and gives him a much more compelling backdrop against which to promote his agenda. The fact that it’s long overdue is almost instantly forgotten.
However, Trump has a knack for reversing moments where he engenders good will, with a sudden ill-placed Tweet, action or proclamation. With Congress back today, the big questions for the week is how long can he keep the positivity going…? Or at least can he leverage his Mideast trip into a surge of support at home?