The Corner

Politics & Policy

Is Trump Really That Powerless, Just Because He’s Not on Twitter?

This assessment, from Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News, strikes me as a little odd:

Without Twitter, Donald Trump is indeed without his favorite tool for instantaneously lashing out at whoever irks him. But he’s still the president, and on the afternoon of January 20, he’s a former president. He’ll be able to command a considerable audience at all times, and he still has a dedicated group of supporters — even if that group is smaller than it was a week ago.

He can still walk out to the podium at the White House and say whatever he likes; the news networks may or may not cover it live, but they’re unlikely to ignore it. Starting January 21, he can do the same at Trump Tower or any other location. He can grant an interview with anyone in the news world he likes — any television program, any radio program. For the next week, he still can stream anything he likes at Whitehouse.gov. He can announce a primetime Oval Office address, although the networks may not carry it live.

The Trump campaign committee ended the election cycle with $18 million left in cash on hand. (Amy Walter accurately observes that Trump’s history suggests he will endorse, but probably not spend money to influence future GOP congressional primaries.) If and when the president or soon-to-be-former president announces another rally, plenty of people will show up. All of this may or may not be enough to pressure or sway a Republican member of Congress. But it’s a far cry from “essentially castrated.”

But Jacobs is correct that Trump has, so far, not really utilized any of those other methods of communication. It’s almost as if he has concluded that if he can’t communicate to the world on Twitter, the way he likes, he doesn’t want to communicate at all.

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