President Trump unveiled his budget on Thursday, an outline of federal spending that puts heavy emphasis on defense and calls for major cutbacks virtually everywhere else.
It, um, didn't go over so well in West Virginia.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail is the largest newspaper in West Virginia. So when the front page of the biggest newspaper in the state goes with “Trump's budget slams West Virginia” as its lead headline, it should raise some eyebrows in the White House.
Now. Trump won West Virginia with 69 percent of the vote, a margin of more than 42 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. It was one of his best state performances. And a president's budget is a wish list that hardly ever comes anywhere near becoming law. (Congress, as members of Congress like to remind the executive branch, decides how money in the federal budget gets spent.)
Still, headlines such as this shouldn't be ignored. Remember that Trump won — in large part — because he represented change at a time when that's what people really, really wanted. But “change” means very different things to different people. The central question for Trump as president is whether the change he delivers is the sort of change people want.
Headlines such as this one raise questions about whether Trump's vision of change will gibe with the change that people — even in states that went heavily for him — actually crave. Change is a hell of a powerful campaign message. But it's much trickier as a governing principle. Just ask Barack Obama.