On Monday, the president gave a formal response to the alt-right, neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville in which he denounced the KKK, racism and neo-Nazi groups in no uncertain terms. He ought to be commended for his clear statement on Monday.
But—there’s no doubt about it—he ought to have made that statement on Saturday and he ought not to have given that press conference on Tuesday.
It’s a hard lesson but a lesson that’s worth stating: presidents don’t get mulligans.
When the Challenger exploded, President Reagan had Peggy Noonan to help him step up and meet his moment.
But, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush chose not to go to New Orleans—and missed.
And, of course, President Obama called ISIS the jayvee team.
Unfortunately, as a president you never get back your mistakes. All you can do is make good the best you can.
Ronald Reagan had Peggy Noonan and Peter Robinson to help him—immediately—to rise to the occasion and not miss the moment.
George W. Bush had Michael Gerson and Marc Thiessen.
What President Trump needs is a similar set of talents that help him take the crisis moments and use his place of leadership to draw our fractured nation together.