PHILADELPHIA — From one angle, President Donald Trump got off to a quick start during his first week on the job — and not just in stoking controversy.
He picked a fight with Mexico and signed executive orders approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and allowing his appointees to begin dismembering Obamacare. The Dow, blowing past the 20K barrier, and congressional Republicans, seeking momentum for their economic ideas, cheered him along.
From a different vantage point, however, the hard political labor all lies ahead — with Trump himself making it harder. As a result, the GOP's ability to complete its ambitious agenda soon remains highly uncertain.
Trump made it harder by engaging in protracted, distracting arguments over the size of his inaugural crowd, the reason he drew fewer popular votes than Hillary Clinton and the efficacy of torture techniques rejected by both parties in Congress. His Republican allies wish none of those subjects had come up during the new president's opening days in the Oval Office.