It will be forgotten completely by midday today, buried underneath a pile of new allegations against Jeff Sessions and the Trump campaign’s associations with Russian officials (spies), but I thought this tweet from Brandon Friedman was worth surfacing. It concerns Donald Trump’s Joint Sessions speech on Tuesday night, specifically where Trump singled out Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, and then kept the focus on her for two full minutes before Trump suggested that Ryan Owens would be happy about some hypothetical record for longest ovation.
The media praised the moment, suggesting that it was the single most Presidential moment of his Presidency (even while many acknowledged that it was tainted by the fact that Trump’s recklessness led to Owens’ death and Trump failed to take responsibility). Even I thought it was a fairly traditional Presidential moment — this is what Presidents often do during State of the Union speeches.
Here’s a sampling of the media’s response via the Friedman tweet:
Friedman follows a collection of media personalities and military folks, and what’s interesting here was the contrast between how the media viewed that moment and how service men and women saw it (these responses echoed many of the same responses I saw in the comments section here yesterday):
I’m not sure what the exact takeaway here is, but I thought it was telling that the very people Trump sought to embrace in that moment were the same people who rejected what they thought was a calculated, exploitative political moment. It apparently also hasn’t endeared him to the very people Trump plans to exploit to “win wars,” and concerns about low morale within the military at the prospect of fighting a political war are only stoked by this.
via Brandon Friedman