Politico is deeply concerned about impeachment. Not that it could drag on for weeks or even months. No, their worry is that the almost inevitable acquittal of President Donald Trump will lead him to taking a "victory lap."
Politico's White House reporter Nancy Cook wrote about that concern on January 27 in "Trump plots a flashy series finale for impeachment." The subtitle spells out what seems to trouble her, "The president is itching to close out a bruising chapter of his presidency — with a victory lap to maximize the political value of his expected acquittal."
Cook kicked off by painting a picture of the President "itching" to celebrate his acquittal:
President Donald Trump is already itching to broadcast the series finale of his impeachment.
In recent days, he and top White House aides have been considering how he should celebrate his presumed acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate and whether he should deliver a rare Oval Office address to mark the occasion, according to three senior administration officials.
Trump has not settled on a specific plan yet, but the internal machinations show the extent to which the president remains focused on the details and optics of his ongoing impeachment trial — from the TV slot in which his lawyers argued his case to the performance of his legal team to the look and feel of a speech or ceremony marking the end of the months-long saga.
“The president is giving a lot of thought to where he goes when he is acquitted and vindicated,” a senior administration official said. “This isn’t a one-and-done moment. This will be a sustained exit from a long dreary impeachment process and a great reset to 2020 — not just the 2020 reelection but the 2020 domestic and international arena.”
One can almost hear the rubbing sounds of Cook's worry beads as the White House tries "to control and dominate the news cycle this week, with the goal of turning the coverage to Trump’s political advantage. Current and former administration officials like the 'counter-programming' approach to drown out negative news."
During the heart of the Senate impeachment trial this week, the White House will host a slew of activities including the presidential signing of USMCA, a major trade deal with Mexico and Canada; a visit from top Israeli leaders; the unveiling of the long-awaited Middle East peace plan; and a campaign rally in New Jersey. That’s just the schedule Monday through Wednesday.
The major media eye all these White House events suspiciously as "counter-programming to drown out negative news." That's why they routinely downplay or skip over them.
As long as they're stating the obvious, Politico summed up: "White House aides expect Trump to treat impeachment as a Democratic ploy he managed to beat, and any post-impeachment celebration will likely marry Trump’s love of the victory lap with his penchant for political grievances."
As if impeachment isn't a "Democratic ploy," and Trump has no "grievances" with the Democrats or their media pals.