Something Shifted, At Least This Once

March 16, 2020 4:27 p.m.

Today’s White House press conference with the President and other members of the COVID-19 team just concluded. It seems like someone had a serious talk with the President or perhaps he had a serious talk with himself. Because his affect seemed significantly different from what we’ve seen in other appearances. More orderly, less stupid, more candid. For the first time he shifted to the message that we’re not focused right now on the stock market – which lost 12% of its market today on the S&P. Once we’re through the health crisis the market will rebound, he said. Whether that’s true or not, it’s at least the right message.

To be clear, he gave himself a “10” on handling the crisis. When asked whether the “buck stops with him” he said “Normally yeah but I think ahhh this has never been done before.” It’s definitely still him.

You know my opinions of this President. They will never change. But his approach to the crisis remains a critical part of success or failure. At least in this one presentation something seemed different. Probably it is just some recognition of the scale and scope of the problem. But just why now is something I’d like to find out.

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