He was presidential, for 20 minutes

The first 20 minutes of President Trump’s July 4th speech were just fine (well, after he was introduced to the stage by a flyover of what is normally Air Force One). Well written and very well delivered.

Then, though, he began his introductions of each branch of the military’s flyovers. That’s when he took the celebration of our country’s birth and turned it into his own celebration of our country’s military might.

While our military is mighty and has served us more than well over the years, the 4th really is supposed to be more about our values than our might.

He finally gave himself that tribute he wanted ever since France paraded its might, properly, on Bastille Day in Paris when he was visiting.

So, while he didn’t do his typical off the cuff speech about how great he thinks he is and how much he thinks he’s done for the country, he did wrap himself in our heroes in the military for an hour tonight.

Had he wrapped his speech after those first 20 minutes, he likely would have won praise for not fully hijacking the Fourth and truly giving a speech that reach presidential standards.. But, he still couldn’t stop himself.

Let’s hope we get back to the traditional Fourth next year. Our birth is worth celebrating. Our power to kill is not.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

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