Much to the dismay of the political left which is counting the days until the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump is not taking the perceived defeat of his agenda laying down. Within the ranks of the Democrats, there are, here and there, members who really do not always spout the party line, and are not ideological purists.
President Trump has begun the dance of wooing this group.
Trump’s charm offensive was on display Monday when he hosted Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at the White House for a meeting that the two men had spent days trying to schedule. Over a lunch of chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, Manchin preached bipartisanship – urging the president to work with lawmakers on ending a pension crisis affecting tens of thousands of coal miners nationwide, said Jonathan Kott, Manchin’s spokesman….
In a statement, Manchin called the lunch “productive.”
In recent days, Trump has invited the top Democratic congressional leaders to the White House amid a pressing government funding battle, and he privately told a Democratic senator he would consider legislation to help stem the loss of auto manufacturing jobs in Ohio.
Trump’s top aides have also been a regular presence on Capitol Hill, discussing legislative goals even as Democrats begin plotting investigations into an administration they argue has escaped serious congressional scrutiny.
The overtures are a signal that Trump and his White House are at least feeling out whether the self-professed dealmaker can find common ground with Democrats next year even as he faces pressure from Republicans to keep the opposition party at arm’s length.
The truth of the matter is that Trump’s feeling out of the other side can be for any number of purposes, not just bipartisanship. It can be used as a way to gain insight and intelligence, and figure out from which direction and on what topics offensives will be launched. Undoubtedly, there is more to this effort than meets the eye.
One thing is for certain, though. Trump knows how to play to win. And the moves he makes are rarely obvious until after the victory is secured.