PALM BEACH, Fla. — As Democrats in Congress push to impeach him, President Donald Trump has toured a manufacturing plant in Texas, boasted about economic gains and signed numerous bills. He served turkey to U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving and grieved with the families of fallen service members at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
And next week, Trump is scheduled to jet to London to meet with European allies and be received at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II.
Sure, Trump has been consumed by the impeachment proceedings, popping off daily, if not hourly, about what he dubs a “hoax.” But he and his aides also have staged photo opportunities and public events designed to showcase the president on the job — a strategy one year out from the election to convince the American people that he is hard at work for them at the same time that Democrats are trying to remove him.
“I’m working my ass off,” Trump told a thunderous rally crowd of roughly 20,000 on Tuesday night in Sunrise, Fla. He added: “The failed Washington establishment is trying to stop me because I’m fighting for you and because we’re winning. It’s very simple.”
Trump is taking a page out of the Clinton playbook. Then-President Bill Clinton survived his 1998 impeachment in part because the economy was roaring and because he appeared to many voters to be relentlessly focused on doing the business of the American people. When Clinton left office in 2001, Gallup measured his job approval rating at 66%.
Clinton had a built-in advantage that Trump does not enjoy: popularity. Throughout his second term, Clinton’s approval rating hovered in the high 50s and 60s, whereas Trump’s has been mired below 50%.