Between the healthcare crisis, family drama and enough Russian espionage to make James Bond call in reinforcements, the Trump administration has a lot on its plate right now. It's almost been too much for them to handle — several of Trump's aides reportedly told the Wall Street Journal they're struggling to "determine which of the president's policy priorities to focus on," and Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has even said the White House communications team is "still learning" how to express the administration's influence to the public.
No one would blame them for needing a pick-me-up … which is why Trump and his team are rolling out a series of "themed weeks" meant to refocus the public's attention toward's the President's non-healthcare, non-Russia agenda and what he considers to be achievements.
Called "Made in America," the three-week tour-de-morale kicked off today with the first theme, American-made products. To celebrate, Trump will spend the next seven days championing companies who build products stateside, inviting them to the White House and making various "declarations" about the importance of domestic manufacturing. The Washington Post pointed out the possible hypocrisy in this, stating:
For years, the Trump Organization has outsourced much of its product manufacturing, relying on a global network of factories in a dozen countries — including Bangladesh, China and Mexico — to make its clothing, home decor pieces and other items. Similarly, the clothing line of Ivanka Trump, the president's older daughter and a senior White House adviser, relies exclusively on foreign factories employing low-wage workers in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and China, according to a recent Washington Post investigation.
Still, "American Made" week soldiers on, namely, as White House press Secretary Sean Spicer told the WSJ, to highlight the president's interest reforming the tax code.
Next week, the theme is "American Heroes" and will focus on American jobs and labor, and the final week will be devoted to the honoring the "American Dream." Earlier in June, the White House had rolled out similar themed weeks — one on technology, one on workforce development, and another on infrastructure.
To some, Trump's themed weeks sound more like a party-planning committee that got into some Aderrall than actual, effective leadership, but … others think the Trump's administration idea to simplify their agenda with themed weeks is actually kind of smart. After all, breaking his complicated and controversial plans to "Make America Great Again" down into a digestible formatwouldn't hurt. Themed weeks that simplify it all into an organized class syllabus-sounding thing could actually give people a moment to absorb it all and make intelligent decisions based on what they learn.
Could this actually be — gulp — Trump's first good idea?
Most people think not. There seems to be a general agreement between both the media and other politicians that his three-week plan is more of a smoke-and-mirrors show to distract the public from the healthcare repeal crisis, his record-breaking low approval ratings, and that whole Russia thing. Even several members of Trump's staff have called the plans "stupid" and "naive."
Trump himself is hardly cheerleading the themed-week plan. He's only made a couple of flaccid mentions of it, and for the most part, it's been off to a rocky start. As Vanity Fair points out, "'Infrastructure Week' was overshadowed by the Senate testimony of James Comey; 'Workforce Development Week,' which was touted by Ivanka Trump, was undercut by her father’s budget; and 'Technology Week,' a Jared Kushner pet project, did little to distract from reports that the president had just come under investigation for obstruction of justice."
Interesting. Maybe what this campaign needs are more constructive themes. "Just Admit What Happened With Russia" week sounds pretty cool, and we, for one, would love to see something like a "Make America Great Again by Making Domino's Give Us Free Pizza" kind of thing, but … just spit-balling over here.