The President as Consoler-in-Chief

John Reid
Thursday, February 22nd

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Thanks Andy appreciate that's 635. Here on this Thursday morning. The 22 day of February 2018. Year listed at Richmond's morning news. I'm John Reid and I'm very thankful to have you along for the ride this morning. I'm also thankful to have Stephen Farnsworth a professor of political science and the director of the center for leadership in media studies at the University of Mary Washington he joins us now. Live to talk about on the news of the last week and president trump. Specifically his listening session at the White House. And Stephen what was your reaction to the fact that the president and his team within a week. Gather all of these people in the east room and gave them a chance to speak to him directly and from what I saw he sat silently for much of it and gave you this just listened what was your reaction. He. He's really not doing all of my excellent and he did most of the talking tied down. It would have been a mistake I think to really try to dominate its crowds so I think trump why late did you most of the listening and that. Give these people a chance to be hurt. I'm there at the potential. Issues though doing this because it's the racquet up the attention net debt the gun issue is going to get by the groin. These people to the White House in the high visibility neat meeting. That may increase the pressure for opera chrome produce some kind. I would expect a gun control. Yeah I wonder whether strategically now this is. Rude is to say I suppose. And it did and you know it's political strategy and so that's it's kind of crass to bring that up while people are so emotional but I wonder if he is trying to take the issue away from his political opponents by saying. Hey I'm not afraid of you all sit down and talk to you NB. I'm going to throw out a number of solutions instead of just a turning my back on this issue completely as others have in the past. And you know cannot out do them. Well I you know there is always this kind of political. Calculation whether there's. You know I tragedy at the core there are just political action and watching kind of broke. To to ignore reality is there's suggest the sign of the coming up yeah morning. You know but the reality here is is that that this is a potential loser for competence issue. On the if you think about the the idea that. You can offer a thought and prayers ignited somehow sufficient to keep up pressure for rent control it and pay in the wake up. Shooting after shooting after shooting. I think that that's probably not sustainable position I think this group of young people has been much more visible. Nationally in terms of social media in terms of appearances on CNN I mean there are you know these are gold feared their digital Nader's. They actually get in the way that. Some perhaps. Crowd. Gun victims might not. The utility of talking in the way that they after bring more attention to this issue but normally issues like this will. Trade away your relative you're not time but we're still talking about a week later that more attention than a lot of these some of these guns incidents outside our draw an old week after they ask Iraq. Well we sure have created a generation of folks who were very articulate very media savvy I'm not sure there any more in depth and their understanding. Or appreciation of the of the issues than their predecessors but they sure can talk on screamer talk and a Stephen Farnsworth whose from the University of Mary Washington let me ask you this other question that I posed before we took the break. Am I wrong to say that there's been a transition. In May be the last thirty years. Where the president of the United States is now all the console or in chief I mean I remember Ronald Reagan. Receiving a lot of praise for his ability to. A comfort widows in specific guy remembers there was a ceremony where he went put his arm around the window I think Yvonne. Marine who died in Lebanon. And there was all this drama gosh it's it's so wonderful to see the president connect with the average citizen is used at different in my making this this up the we've shifted our expectation for the person in this role over the last several decades. I think that's really true I think there's always been an element of a president at. Natural father that is when something goes wrong. People look at the lighthouse like in the good practioner during the war. Or some sort of relief from Washington. But it's controller and chief and I think this really is a critical post Reagan. Dynamic I think Reagan had very good. In stinks about how to act weird people mean unlike some politician he really was I genuine warm person who could connect with people in a way that some politicians might not be able to you and that is really was part of the doubt. Some of the best moments of the Reagan presidency in my opinion than you think about the way that he spoke of the data challenger disaster. And that connection with the public is really I think increasingly what we look forward cracker if you could go about. Bill Clinton and it's you know his very emotional responses to the economic trouble that had occurred in the early 1990s. Sort. Com and you will always just necessarily a yacht could only moment although I think George got people. We'll also one who could connect with people in this way. There was also. So does being the national voice and data and so you have sometime today yeah an angry response that connects with the public got cultural. Environment not unlike when bush stood atop direct fire truck after 9/11 and so. I think what what trump he's doing it not necessarily new culprit. It is somewhat new power as president the brother. It's much attention to school here. And print about this is that that. Do you think that focusing on that especially as it becomes more and more intense that it diminishes our ability to make sound public policy that it becomes a motion based public policy. Well I'm not sure that we've ever gotten all that far away from emotion based public all of a loss of movement in politics. Is based on how people feel about their exam then you know that not necessarily a bad thing to meet. One person's vote is for it but for the that person is sort of thought or that person. Black no doubt about it I think that you know they'll be big changes in American politics occur Condit in reaction. Two to other things and there has been I think a sort of pay. And I'm not unlike a spot sort of bubbling over the last several years what you're looking at their frequent treat. Of these incidents. When you're looking at a whole thing and get people angry. Opportunity when you think about being young people that you disputed debt. You think about so many of these shoot Indians. A little bandit publicly that I cannot take it I mean the polls are very clear on this point the public really want more action. Then it has gotten on this issue come the reason it hasn't happened of course has been at feet under at the end supporters of gun rights. I have been very very vocal very very visible and very very aggressive but. You're seeing a new move around regret activism on the gun control side and so immediately guarantee and then. That is disappearing pretty quickly I'm not so sure that this story is gonna and as somebody pellet gun tragedy cap. It's certainly a different dynamic it's with Swiss social media. We we live in a coliseum where everyone gets to us shall ten you can if you begin to feel old the the motion and movement of large numbers of people all at once because everyone now does have that voice that they're not just talking to the bar. We're talking at the water cooler the office or talking in their home their that they are able to express it Stephen Farnsworth. Professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington really always appreciate you joining us here enrichment morning news. Very at let me tell you have a good one thank you.