BOSTON (CBS) – Welcome to Trump World.
Wednesday morning’s press conference was standard-issue Donald Trump, instantly recognizable to those of us who closely followed his candidacy: a pre-emptive strike on the potentially-damaging story of the moment (in this case, unproven allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and the Russians), voluminous non-answers to important questions (how will he wall off his business interests from the public interest? Why, the sons simply won’t talk business with their father), and attack, attack, attack (the media and, still, Hillary Clinton).
One of the bigger whoppers was Trump’s claim that nobody except the media cares about seeing his tax returns, which could settle once and for all questions about his financial ties to foreign governments and charitable giving.
Actually, poll after poll shows solid majorities of voters (and even Republicans) want to see those documents.
If you expected that, now that he’s on the verge of assuming power, Trump would abandon or even modify the tactics that got him here, you were mistaken.
The entire Trump candidacy was an exercise in ignoring political conventions and traditions and creating a parallel universe of “facts” that conveniently allowed the candidate to have his own way. And it worked.
There is no reason to think he won’t keep on pushing that envelope until it blows up on him.
But keep something in mind as we go forward – a booming economy can paper over a multitude of sins.
Details of the promised Trump tax-reform plan, specifics on trade and repatriation of US business profits overseas, and the nitty gritty of Trumpcare were all woefully lacking Wednesday, even though a couple of reporters made an effort to ask about them.
Those issues, the way the new administration handles them, and the results they do or do not deliver, will determine whether, in the long run, the electorate will condone the evasions and manipulations of Trumpworld, or reject them.