WANADA Luncheon keynoter, Ed Henry, Fox News discusses nation’s extremism

Speaking at the WANADA Annual Meeting and Luncheon on November 14, 2018 at the Ritz/Tysons Corner, Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry expressed some of the same uncertainty about the future national political scene that the rest of us have. Much of Henry’s speech naturally had a Washington focus centering on President Trump.

“He has a real opportunity to get things done,” Henry said of the president. “The question is, is he going to take that opportunity?” Because Trump is so anxious to win, in Henry’s view, he might well work to achieve legislative victories. Assuming that Nancy Pelosi is elected Speaker of the House, she and Trump will need to work together if they want to get anything done.

“I think he’s going to try to cut some deals,” Henry said. “I don’t think he can get re-elected without the wall [on the Mexican border].

“Trump is appealing to 45 percent of the people,” he said. “That may not be a good way to govern.”

For the nation as a whole, Trump has a lot to boast about, Henry said. The most recent weekly jobs report as Henry spoke showed unexpectedly high job growth, with 250,000 new jobs. “He has practically put the economy on steroids,” said Henry. He has done a great deal to cut regulations.

As for the political climate in the nation, “people on both sides are going to have to tone it down,” he said.

But extremism is succeeding. In answer to a question about the right/left divide, Henry said, “It’s going to be hard to get traction as a moderate in 2020. Right now, it’s a race to the right and a race to the left.”

Still, Henry remains optimistic. The newsman said he developed a strong faith in the nation’s resilience, in part from, writing his book, 42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story.

“Even at our lowest points, when all you hear about is crime and division, we can come together because this is America, the greatest country on earth,” Henry said.

In a fireside chat segment with a small group after the Luncheon, Henry talked about the future political landscape.

“I don’t think there’s anything Democrats can do to win rural areas, or anything Republicans can do to win the cities,” Henry said. “The fight is in the suburbs.

“I don’t know who the Democrats will put up in 2020. They have a chance to beat Trump, but it’ll have to be someone like Beto [O’Rourke, U.S. congressman from Texas, who lost a close race with Ted Cruz for senator] who’s outside the machine.”

An important arena to watch next year is the Supreme Court, Henry said. Justice Clarence Thomas, who is 70 now, could retire in 2019, giving Trump a chance to put a third justice on the highest court.

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