The Atlantic

Trump’s Oval Office Speech Was Never Going to Succeed

White House addresses gain their power from the dignity and moral authority of the office—and that’s not the nature of Trump’s appeal.
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

On Tuesday, Donald Trump delivered a televised Oval Office address, hoping to marshal the gravitas of the presidency to get his way on a border wall.

The gambit was doomed from the start.

Insofar as prime-time addresses from the White House have power, it is rooted in the public’s

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