Podcast: Trump’s Political Gamble in Texas

Donald and Melania Trump set off on their trip from Washington to Texas, August 29, 2017

I joined Monocle 24’s The Daily on Wednesday night to review Donald Trump’s PR to Texas amid the relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey.

After a comparison of the situations around George W. Bush — during his ill-fated response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — and around Trump, the conversation focuses on the politics of Tuesday’s trip and what effect it will have on the current President’s position.

We’ve seen this on issue after issue. If Trump is on a script, and he stays on script, he can play at being President. When he goes off script, that’s when the trouble begins….

For all troubles, there might have been a flicker of a moment where, if Trump could have realized what was happening and engaged with people, he could have save his Presidency….But that moment soon passed.

There’s also consideration of the “etiquette” and “optics” of Presidential visits to disaster areas — and when a President might actually be heart-felt in his response — and even of the furor over Melania Trump’s six-inch stiletto heels.

Listen to Discussion from 3:08

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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