For Mr. Trump, who is enduring one of the most difficult stretches of his young presidency, the rally was a chance to bathe in the adulation of a campaign crowd, a sea of people waving placards that said: "Buy American. Hire American" and "Promises Made. Promises Kept."
Donald Trump held the latest in a series of presidential rallies last night in Louisville, where he pretended the FBI director hadn't just told the world that Trump campaign operation is under investigation for its ties to Russia. The New York Times noted that the event included the unveiling of a new slogan.
Those placards weren't the result of organic, grassroots enthusiasm; they were part of a specific push from Team Trump, which apparently finds the phrase compelling.And at a certain level, it's easy to understand the motivation. The more the White House struggles and Trump's approval rating sinks, the more the president and his aides stick to the idea that they're simply following through on the platform presented to voters during the 2016 campaign. Love Trump or hate him, the argument goes, he's simply keeping the promises he made before he was elected.The problem, of course, is that this isn't even close to being true.Trump promised Americans he'd replace the Affordable Care Act with a system that would cover "everybody." He promised to unveil a new, secret plan to destroy ISIS. He promised to pursue budget policies that would benefit working families. He promised to eliminate the national debt. He promised to combat the opioid epidemic. He promised to stand up to Wall Street and banking giants like Goldman Sachs. He promised to "drain the swamp" and weaken lobbyists' influence. He promised to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. He promised he wouldn't go golfing.How many of these promises has Trump broken so far? Well, all of them, actually.To be sure, Trump's only been the president for a couple of months, and he has plenty of time to break all kinds of additional promises. But given what we've seen over the last eight weeks, "Promises Made, Promises Kept" sounds more like an ironic joke than a credible boast.