President Trump traveled to Texas on Tuesday to view the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
The trip held political opportunities and risks for the president. What were the main takeaways?
Trump plays to convention
For the most part, Trump stayed within the lines of conventional presidential behavior in the wake of major, traumatic events.
At his first event, a briefing open to the media, Trump paid tribute to those who were working on relief efforts and expressed an uncharacteristic note of circumspection, saying that it was too early to “congratulate” anyone on the response to the disaster, which has generally garnered positive reviews.
He instead argued that he wanted the relief work to be an exemplar for the future.
“We want to do it better than ever before. We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it,” he said.
Soon afterward, he addressed a crowd via a microphone and amplifier and asserted to cheers that “Texas can handle anything.”
The broader image, of a president touring an afflicted area and promising concerted action, was a helpful one for Trump, whom polls show to be among the most polarizing presidents of modern times.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a prominent Trump supporter after ending his own White House bid last year, told Fox News that the president had done “a great job so far.”