- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Dow Jones hit 21,000 the day following President Trump’s joint address to Congress — a new record.

According to polling conducted immediately after Mr. Trump’s speech, Americans were left feeling high.

Nearly seven in 10 watchers said Mr. Trump’s address made them feel more optimistic about the direction of the country, according to a CNN/ORC poll. Fifty-seven percent who tuned in said they had a very positive reaction to the speech.

A CBS News instant poll found similar results.

Asked how Mr. Trump’s speech made them feel about what his administration will do, 84 percent of Republicans felt more optimistic, as did 24 percent of Democrats.



Although half of Democrats found Mr. Trump’s address “divisive,” about one-third also said Mr. Trump sounded “specific” and “knowledgeable.”

Fox News Chris Wallace declared that Mr. Trump’s speech was one of the best joint sessions of Congress he’d heard since former President Ronald Reagan’s address 36 years ago, because of its “deeply emotional” message.

And it was emotional — patriotism abounded.

One of the most touching moments of the night was when Mr. Trump honored the widow of fallen Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens, who died in a raid outside of Yemen that was one of the first military directives that Mr. Trump authorized.

Mr. Trump’s administration has been hammered by the press on whether it considered the raid “successful” because of the loss of life and questioned the value of the intelligence it collected.

“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Mr. Trump said.

“I just spoke to General [Jim] Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.’ Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” Mr. Trump concluded solemnly.

There were tears in Mrs. Owens eyes. She was so proud, and I was so proud of her – of her and her husband’s sacrifice for our country. Both Democrats and Republicans stood. It was a moment that unified.

CNN’s Van Jones — a liberal commentator — said of a replay of the exchange: “That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.”

So was the honoring of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s widow, who also stood in the gallery, by Mr. Trump as tears filled her eyes.

“Justices never clap, let alone stand, during speeches to joint session, but they did for my mom. Beautiful,” Christopher Scalia wrote on Twitter.

On his message of economic nationalism — of getting the economy up and humming again for the everyday, average American — even Mr. Trump’s most partisan critics finally were able to understand.

“We must restart the engine of the American economy, make it easier for companies to do business in the United States and much harder for companies to leave. I thought it was a winner politically. I think it was probably the reason he was elected in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is his winning the ticket: economic nationalism,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews said after the speech.

Even David Axelrod, a former Obama senior adviser, was impressed.

“If I’m on the Trump team, I’m very, very happy with this speech. … There will be an afterglow from this speech. He should get a bump in the polls,” Mr. Axelrod explained.

Indeed. A bump in the polls, a bump in the market, and a nice, healing dose of optimism for everyone.

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