The President has had an amazing super power no other President has had. He has a unique ability to steer the media in his direction always and without fail. The President’s tweets shape news cycles for days. He can undermine his own State of the Union address by tweeting. He can cause the media to drop one story and move to another. For good or for ill, the President has this power and knows it.
But impeachment is this power’s kryptonite. Every time the President tries to steer the conversation in a new direction, the media now shapes it with impeachment.
This, frankly, is how I read his China remarks. Yes, superficially, he was calling for China to investigate Hunter Biden. The reality is most conservatives, myself included, interpreted that as the President wanting the media to cover Hunter Biden in China.
Normally, that would work. But here, the media has interpreted this through the lens of impeachment and it is further proof the President is seeking foreign interference in the election. Just about every tweet the President tweets to steer the conversation is now viewed through that lens. They are assessments of his view of impeachment, his mental fitness under the stress of impeachment, etc.
In the past, the President could tweet to move the conversation off one topic and on to another. Now, he cannot. This fundamentally changes his ability to shape the message and it is working against him.