The press spin these days is that President Trump lost to Nancy Pelosi on the government shutdown.
But Trump has a way of winning when he loses, and this will prove to be one of those cases.
Trump just oversaw the longest shutdown in history.
For doing so, he was slammed with a blizzard of negative headlines and media bashing. His poll ratings took a hit, though the decline was manageable.
The media gloating over Pelosi’s “victory” misses the point.
The country likes it when Trump is strong, especially strong against Washington and Congress. And even when he is sometimes wrong.
The last I checked Congress had an approval rating of about half of that of the president and the media fared not much better.
Trump was elected to Washington because he wasn’t Washington.
So, did he get wall funding?
But he has moved the needle.
By the end of the shutdown, the Democrats were signaling they would give him the full $5.7 billion in border security funds he asked for, though they don’t want the word “wall” used in the appropriation.
OK, let’s call it a “protective barrier.” That works for me.
A wall, in the traditional sense, probably wouldn’t work for the entire border, in any event.
Trump’s problem was not him. It was the fact he never had the buy-in of Congressional Republicans.
He’s been fighting the Democrats and Republican leaders.
Both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who controlled Congress these past two years, failed to deliver on border funding.
The key leverage point they had was last year with the Omnibus spending bill.
Schumer and the Democrats wanted funding for a massive rail tunnel project between New York and New Jersey.
Schumer got billions in direct and indirect funding for the rail tunnel while Congressional Republicans failed to use their leverage to get a border barrier.
When the Continuing Resolution hit this past December, the president found himself without his basic negotiating weapon, leverage.
As the Democrats took control of the House, Speaker Pelosi insisted the CR remain clean with no add-ons.
CRs don’t have add-ons because such resolutions would be held up constantly with hostage-taking by both sides.
For the moment, Pelosi had the leverage and high ground.
But there are two years left in this Congress, and now the leverage swings in favor of the president because no legislation can pass without his signature.
He’s clearly drawn a line in the sand.
The Democrats know barrier funding must come, otherwise none of their bills pass.
My view is that Schumer and Pelosi are starved for deals they want to see happen.
The president is actually sitting quite pretty.
The White House should not tie border funding to the CRs.
But tying border funding to any and all legislation is fair game.
Those betting against President Trump on border funding should take their chips off the table.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO of Newsmax, one of the country's leading conservative news outlets. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.
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