I really don’t like this question. It’s designed to be a trap. Which is why no one ever really answers it.
Conservatives were accused of ‘wanting Obama to fail.’ Now, liberals might be accused of wanting the same thing for Trump.
The thing is, ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are relative terms in the context of politics. What does it mean for a president to succeed as president? Does that mean that he was able to carry out most of his campaign promises?
In politics, a president’s success is measured by the opposing party according to how much of his actions align with their agenda. So, in Democrats’ eyes, Trump will only succeed if he succumbs to the whims and fancies of the Democratic Party. If Trump were to suddenly defy all his advisors and begin kowtowing to Democrats, liberals would say, ‘sure, he could very well be a successful president after all.’
It’s a dumb question. Nevertheless, it’s what’s asked by the media of people in the opposing or minority party. Mark Halperin on MSNBC posed the question to Senator Chuck Schumer , and as you’d expect, he never answered it:
MARK HALPERIN, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Senator, do you want Donald Trump to be a successful president and do you think he can be?
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: Well, the issue is not whether Donald Trump’s a successful president or Chuck Schumer’s a successful minority leader. The only issue is are we going to help the middle-class people in America and those trying to get to the middle class? Thus far, this administration has done virtually nothing to help them and a good number of things to hurt them.
Here’s a little metaphor. He gave that inaugural speech aimed at working people. An hour later, he signs an executive order to help the bank and raise the cost of mortgages —
SCHUMER: — $500 to new homeowners. This is not going to work, and the reason they’ve had such trouble, Halperin, for 40 days and the reason they’re going to keep having trouble is they don’t walk the walk. You know, he’s talked — Mika, he’s talked about infrastructure and trade for months and months. This is nothing new. You guys have a low bar.
HALPERIN: Senator, let me —
SCHUMER: He’s done nothing.
HALPERIN: Let me just modify the way I asked you that.
HALPERIN: Do you think he can be a successful president for America and do you want him to be?
SCHUMER: OK, here’s what I’ve told him. I said when you ran as a candidate you campaigned as populist against both the Democratic and Republican establishments. Since you’ve become president you have governed from the hard right and just done what the hard right wants. And the hard right is very far away from what the average, even the average Republican, is. That’s why his budget is already having such trouble in the Congress with Republicans. That’s why health care is such a mess. There are plans to repeal and replace. Just, yesterday, three Republican senators said they will not replace only repeal. That kills it in the Senate.