8696 Trump's Late In Getting To California, But He May Be A Step Ahead In Setting Up For 2020

Trump’s Late In Getting To California, But He May Be A Step Ahead In Setting Up For 2020

, Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Friendship Park, along the US-Mexico border fence in Tijuana’s beach district. President Trump will visit the California border to inspect the border wall prototypes later this week. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

When Donald Trump touches down in California on Tuesday, for the time as America’s 45th President, the question will be: is Trump politically ahead or behind the curve?

The answer might surprise you.

There’s no arguing that Trump is behind the curve when it comes to showing California the kind of attention its fragile ego expects.

George W. Bush, no great fan of the Golden State, first came to America’s nation-state in late May of his first year in office. Though he’d lost California to Al Gore by 12 points the previous November, Bush made a good-faith effort to find common ground with the state’s electorate.

In a speech in Los Angeles, Bush backed California’s export economy (“When we open trade, we open minds. We trade with China because trade is good policy for our economy, because trade is good policy for democracy, and because trade is good policy for our national security.”).

Bush also gave a nod to California’s vocal environmental community: “I will honor my commitment to you to uphold the moratorium on new drilling leases off the coast of California.”

However, Bush had also walked into a buzz saw in the form of California’s energy crisis – a messy turn of events that entailed electricity deregulation, interstate power price caps and eventually the downfall of another Texas institution known as Enron.

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