Trump gets praise for mea­sured speech

New Straits Times - - World -

Don­ald Trump’s muted prime-time ad­dress to Congress got pos­i­tive re­views on Wed­nes­day, but ques­tions re­mained about the de­tails and costs of his am­bi­tious agenda.

Amer­i­cans re­acted warmly to Trump’s speech, in which he ditched the most bel­li­cose of his rhetoric in favour of a call for na­tional unity.

A CBS News/YouGov poll showed that 76 per cent of those who watched the speech ap­proved of what they saw. Wall Street also voiced its ap­pre­ci­a­tion, with the Dow top­ping 21,000 for the first time.

It was a much needed boost for the 70-yearold Repub­li­can pres­i­dent.

Trump — ever-aware of his im­age and pop­u­lar­ity — fired a tri­umphant “THANK YOU!” mes­sage to his 25 mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers.

To keep the mo­men­tum, the White House post­poned the un­veil­ing of a con­tro­ver­sial new ban on trav­ellers from mostly Mus­lim coun­tries, which would have dom­i­nated news cov­er­age.

It also pared back Trump’s pub­lic re­marks and held its daily press brief­ing off-cam­era.

The speech — staunchly na­tion­al­ist, but de­liv­ered in a more mea­sured tone — may help soothe a deeply di­vided coun­try.

An es­ti­mated 48 mil­lion peo­ple tuned in to watch Trump’s speech, ac­cord­ing to the Nielsen rat­ings firm, lower than the 53 mil­lion who watched for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s first joint ad­dress in 2009.

Trump’s speech was wel­comed by the hun­dreds of mostly Repub­li­can law­mak­ers.

“I think we were all re­ally pleased last night to hear the pres­i­dent’s uni­fy­ing mes­sage.

“It was re­fresh­ing for ev­ery­one af­ter such a dif­fi­cult elec­tion sea­son,” Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader Mitch McCon­nell said on the Se­nate floor.

Don­ald Trump

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