Since he took over the reins from Gary Cohn last year, Leisure Suit Larry Kudlow has done an objectively tremendous job of selling the Trump administration’s economic policies to an often incredulous financial press. Kuddles has excelled in the role for a few reasons, but none more potent than his sheer Kudlowness: the innate nasally smooth operator mien that makes it as easy for Larry to sell tariffs to Bloomberg TV as it is for him to sell his book on markets to the pretty young waitress at The Polo Bar.
And Larry supercharges his superpower by doing the one thing that Gary Cohn never figured out how to do: Fully ignoring the words of Donald Trump.
Kudlow has been brilliant going on TV after some batshit Trumpian outburst and charmingly smirking that everyone is getting carried away by what the president said when they should be focused on what he means. Trade wars, direct attacks on publicly-listed American companies, more trade wars, outright falsehoods about simple economic realities…there is nothing that Trump can say that Larry can hear and worry about because Larry hit the mute button on his office TV months ago and then shattered the remote with his foot. It’s easy to defend to the president when FoxNews is just a silent film of Brian Killmeade drooling at blond people.
Watch how well it’s working for Kuddles: Late last night, after watching his beloved Dow Industrial Average shit itself hard, Trump went on FoxNews and called the Federal Reserve “loco.” A strange choice of words for a guy who has been consistently trying to say he respects the Fed’s independence while simultaneously conveying that he does not at all. “Loco” is a blunt and un-spinnable attack on Jay Powell, an objective bitch slap at the guy Trump hired to ignore him on monetary policy.
Who can possibly act like that wasn’t a major faux pas by our emotionally adolescent Commander-in-Chief? Send in the Kuddles!:
“The president has his own views. He’s stated them many times. There’s nothing new here as far as I can tell,” Kudlow told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street. “We all know the Fed is independent. The president is not dictating policy to the Fed. He didn’t say anything remotely like that.”
Goddamn but Larry Kudlow is one slick sonuvabitch! And he’s not wrong, the president did share his own view; that Jay Powell and his team are insane.
Now we didn’t watch the segment, but we fancy ourselves an expert on Kudlow CNBC appearances so we’ll assume that the next bit went like this:
CARL QUINTANILLA: But Larry, what about the “Loco” thing? That’s a pretty – let’s say “interesting” choice of words there…Should that not concern Jay Powell?
JIM CRAMER [shrieking for some reason]: YEAH, LAR, WHAT ABOUT “LOCO”?
KUDLOW: Listen, Carl, have you ever had the Doritos Taco Loco Supreme at Taco Bell? Jimmy, I know you have, my friend…
CRAMER: IT’S DELISH!!!
KUDLOW: Jim’s right there, Carl, it’s a delicious tasty taco meal. And it’s”Loco.” That tasty taco is also “Loco,” and in that prism it’s a compliment. Maybe the president is using “Loco” in that context; to call Jay and the other Fed Governors “Delicious.” I’m choosing to see it that way as I’m certain it’s what he means, and I’d like him to call me that too, honestly [chuckles]…
CRAMER: YOU WOULD, YOU WOULD, HAHAHAHA [spins in chair]
KUDLOW: You know I would, my friend, and I’d like to call the president “Loco” too! “Loco” for this equally “Loco” economy that he’s created through tax cuts and other stuff, but mostly tax cuts which are great and stimulative and we need more of…forever. Does that answer your question, Carl?
QUINTANILLA: Always great to see you, Larry.
CRAMER: I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!