Lori and I had lunch together at Joint-Base Andrews this afternoon. CNN was scrolling that congressional democrats were refusing to meet with President Trump. CSpan Radio confirmed that Minority Leaders Schumer and Pelosi had pulled out of talks with Trump during our drive home.
I don’t know the full background of the situation. However, I do know it’s a recurring political tactic for congressional leaders to generate news coverage by refusing to meet with a sitting president of the opposite party. Democrats do it with Trump. Republicans did it with President Obama. It’s a selfish tactic regardless of who uses it.
As a communicator, I immediately wondered why presidents don’t respond in the following manner:
1. Ask for network time for a fireside chat with the American public.
2. During the chat, have a discussion about the issue you would like to discuss with legislators. In this case, the topic is avoiding the seemingly annual government shutdown.
3. Concede that this topic affects the entire nation, and is important to everyone.
4. Tell the constituents, whose representatives are refusing to meet and discuss legislation, that the people they elected are not holding up their duty to give constituents a voice to the president in the legislative process.
5. Ask the public to interact directly with the White House, since legislators are not fulfilling their duty to represent their districts in legislative discussions with the nation’s chief executive.
6. Clear your schedule for the following day. Do a Facebook Live while waiting for congress to show up.
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