Driving home after the event, I did listen to MSNBC on my drive back to the hotel, and so got to hear a replay of their earlier programs. After about 40 seconds I muted the sound of the speech, not wanting to crash the car from teeth-gnashing angst. (Man, that guy cannot read. That does not make someone a good or horrific president, but it certainly comes across like he doesn’t have a clue what he’s saying...). I did turn up the volume for the Pelosi-Schumer response. I thought what they were saying was blunt, pointed and terrific — though later when I got back to my room and watched them on the news, the visual planning for them could have been given more thought.
As for the speech though — earlier in the evening, I heard Chuck Todd on MSNBC say he’d been invited to the White House that afternoon for an off-the-record conversation. He couldn’t repeat the details but could given some general comments. And it was that Trump would not be declaring an emergency or even be trying to convince the public of his position. Rather, the concern of the White House was that they were losing the support of the GOP House and Senate, and that’s who Trump had to speak to and convince.
Hearing that alone said to me that Trump was in deep trouble, overseeing a sinking ship. And the mere fact that networks allowed an opposition response to a presidential speech from the Oval Office (and boy, was that pathetic and borderline shameful...) most certainly spoke volumes to members of Congress. It never would have happened if there was any sense that an actual emergency or national crisis existed.
More to the point, if Trump’s need was to speak to his party in Congress and convince them that he isn’t lying about his facts and there being a crisis, it was a lost evening. Whatever they say in public, they know the reality. And they know the GOP got pummeled in the Mid-terms using this as an issue. And that the public isn’t buying it and hates that there is a government shutdown over it. So, whatever Pelosi and Schumer said after was almost academic. It was necessary to make that they be there to make the point that there was significant disagreement of Trump's contention, but I sense that their words were borderline unnecessary in that they didn't likely convince any of anything who didn't have a position already. Mainly it was a very bad evening for Trump. It all showed his weakness, emptiness and hole he’s dug for himself.
And he and the Republican Party which has enabled him to get to this point, only brought it on themselves.