This has been a rough week for the White House for reasons that have nothing to do with Russia. Two big promises of President Trump fell by the wayside, at least temporarily. In addition to the GOP failure to scrap ObamaCare, Trump reluctantly preserved President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. The developments have resulted in a theme of coverage on Wednesday:
- New York Times: "Trump Finds That Demolishing Obama's Legacy Not So Simple," reads the headline. The story notes that Obama's signature achievements on the domestic and international fronts, both of which candidate Trump vowed to reverse, are still intact. Yes, Trump has unwound notable Obama initiatives through executive action (including the Paris climate accord, the Keystone pipeline, and the TPP pact), but he's struggling on matters in which he needs help in Congress.
- Los Angeles Times: "Trump Set Out to Uproot Obama's Legacy. So Far, That's Failed," reads the headline. The story covers the same ground, with David Lauter writing that "Trump's unusual concentration on repealing what his predecessor did, rather than putting forward initiatives of his own, has also hampered his effectiveness to a remarkable degree." This could change as Trump appointees increase at federal agencies, but only if Trump begins focusing on his own administration's initiatives rather than Obama's, writes Lauter.
- Daily Beast: "Trump Keeps Failing to Destroy Obama's Legacy, as Aides Assure Trump All Is Fine," reads the headline. The story asserts that Trump's "failure to make more legislative inroads is quickly becoming a defining feature of his first year in office." Like the other pieces, it lays some of the blame on Trump's unfamiliarity with Washington, a factor that will obviously change over time. The story adds that Trump aides are trying to shield Trump by giving him an inflated sense of his progress.
- Sun Sentinel: "GOP, Trump Fail to Trash Obama's Legacy," reads the headline on an editorial, as opposed to a news story. It talks specifically about ObamaCare, complaining that "senators were sent to Washington to help the American people, not to get rid of Obama's legacy. They need to do their job."
- Washington Post: Its story illustrates a point made in other stories—that Trump seemed out of touch with GOP opposition to the health care bill. A Monday night dinner with senators was a casual affair that focused on small talk, not policy, even as the deal was falling apart at that very moment. In general, throughout the process "Trump was frequently disengaged, sporadically tweeting and making calls to on-the-fence senators but otherwise avoiding selling the bill at the kind of big rallies that he often holds on issues he champions."
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