Trump's First Year: Parties, Protests, and a Few Pink Hats

Jan 19, 2018

Then candidate Donald J. Trump on the campaign trail in New Hampshire in 2016.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As New Hampshire supporters of President Trump celebrate his first year in office, they pay little heed to controversies that have contributed to a historically low approval rating.

 

Asked about it, Lou Gargiulo responds by pointing to a stock market rally that led to a historic Dow high this week.

 

Gargiulo, a Rockingham County chairman for Trump in 2016, says he still revels in Trump's ability to beat the odds -- and confound his critics. 

 

"As I recall, the polling that took place prior to the election showed that he was going to lose by double digits and that didn't happen," he says. "So if the approval ratings are correct or not, it's anyone's guess. So I don't put much stake in the approval ratings."

 

The President's knack for sowing controversy, from wild Twitter posts to false claims of widespread voter fraud, flows into his second year in the White House. So, too, will FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

   

Trump supporters, like New Hampshire's Steve Stepanek, claim the Russian investigation is a bogus attempt to smear Trump and delegitimize the election. U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., was calling for this investigation months before election day. She says America, given the seriousness of foreign influence in a U.S. election, deserves to see Mueller conclude the probe.

 

Stepanek, who served as New Hampshire campaign co-chair for Trump, says Trump's made significant accomplishments that would not be "overshadowed by left-leaning media and their surrogates." 

 

He and Gargiulo say that the tax cuts and a reduction in Obama-era government regulations are two highlights of Trump's first year. The one-year milestone could see a federal government "shutdown;" Trump and congressional leaders were negotiating a short-term funding compromise Friday night

The New Hampshire Republican Party hosts a celebration and fundraiser Friday night at Murphy's Taproom in Bedford. Tickets range from $28 to a VIP ticket price of $100, which includes a private reception with Jonathan Williams, chief economist at the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council.

 

Both the Republican and Democratic parties in New Hampshire are using this anniversary weekend to try to mobilize their grassroots supporters. 

Author Jodi Picoult, speaking at a women's rally at the New Hampshire State House on Jan. 20, 2017.
Credit Granite State Progress
 

Elsewhere in New Hampshire, "After a Divisive year, Women's Marches Return to the Streets."

 

And so the one-year anniversary of the Trump White House has a familiar feel to it. It's parties, protests, and a few pussyhats -- although organizers of rallies are not promoting those pink hats this weekend.