It’s good news for America that President Trump has invited Larry Kudlow to join the White House team as chief economic adviser. He’s a class act both personally and professionally. I’ve known Larry for many years and have benefited from his gracious tutelage in the art of television commentary as a frequent guest on his show. More importantly, his consistent pro-growth message of economic opportunity is just what the country needs.
News of his appointment has been met with predictable skepticism from the usual suspects. For starters, the liberal elites in the media and academia are loath to ascribe credit for the incredible economic boom unfolding in America since Donald Trump triumphed in 2016. I am not talking primarily about the stock market, although those gains are quite real. I’m referring to the gains in the real economy because of tax and regulatory relief, the likes of which we haven’t witnessed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency -- which, not coincidentally, is the last time Kudlow served in government. This is the tide that is truly lifting all boats. Black and Hispanic joblessness recently hit all-time lows and the last payroll report showed the fastest gain in construction jobs since the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
His critics also deride Larry as merely a “talking head,” dismissing his decades as an expert forecaster and economist. Regarding Kudlow’s prolific television presence, Juan Williams of Fox News said that “the danger is he [President Trump] surrounds himself with yes people … because he’s watched them on TV.”
This disparaging view was repeated often over the airwaves. As someone who, like Larry Kudlow, comes from both Wall Street and television, I naturally take umbrage with such dismissals. More importantly, such derision misses a critical point: Politics involves persuasion every bit as much as policy.
What Larry Kudlow brings to the Trump White House is not merely his impressive credentials as an economic authority but, perhaps more importantly, his skills as an evangelist for pro-growth economic empowerment. I’m convinced that Kudlow will help transform a White House that has so far struggled to find its voice. Aside from the president himself and his singular command of social media, the television airwaves have largely been ceded to the critics of this administration – who are legion among media intelligentsia. Let’s be honest, the amazing Trump success narrative stands as a tale too seldom told.
Larry represents a terrific first step toward reversing that deficiency, as an on-air maestro ready to sell the powerful story of economic renewal. Perhaps better than anyone else except Trump himself, Kudlow will champion the tangible results of an America unleashed from the burdens of big government: a people free, prosperous, confident, and secure. If Larry is “just a TV guy … an outsider,” then I say, “Please, let’s hire more of them!”
From there, I expect the White House to embolden others among the senior appointees, particularly his Cabinet of the best and brightest of the private sector, to write and broadcast more frequently and forcefully, thereby conveying a presidency that controls the narrative, and appears less reactive and defensive in mass media.
Steve Cortes, a contributor to RealClearPolitics and a CNN political commentator, is the national spokesman for the Hispanic 100, an organization that promotes Latino leadership by advancing free enterprise principles. His Twitter handle is @CortesSteve.