Is Donald Trump winning?

Donald Trump (front R) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front L) return in a golf cart after playing a round of golf Image copyright Getty Images

This president has played a lot of golf since he won the election. He seems to do a lot of his business on the lush Trump properties - senators are invited to come and play a round while he can bend their ear to back this or that cause.

The way the president does business is not always pretty. There seems to be unnecessary noise and more collateral damage than there needs to be.

But who cares that you shanked the ball off the 3rd or hit the ball into the trees on the 5th and found the water on the 14th? It's all about how you get yourself out of the rough.

The recovery shot. The scramble out of trouble. And every time you think that President Trump finds his ball buried under the sand in a huge bunker, he seems somehow to chip the ball into the hole and emerge smiling.

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Image caption The president's former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators

The headlines have been dominated in recent days - understandably - by what is unfolding with the investigation of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

We have seen former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, but more interesting is the fact that Flynn is now co-operating with the Mueller investigation.

And we have seen some rather odd tweets from the president's account, which now we're being told weren't written by him.

Every day - sometimes it seems every hour - there is a new development that will dominate the news cycle. Stories that you think will last a week because of their seeming enormity come and go like passing spring showers, as we await the next downpour.

President retweets videos from a far-right British group and gets into spat with Theresa May - been and gone.

He says FBI reputation is in tatters - a passing squall.

Supporting Roy Moore for the vacant Alabama Senate seat, even though he's an alleged paedophile (which he denies)? Whatever.

Rows with basketball players for not being grateful enough barely make a puddle.

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Image caption Congress is poised to send a bill for tax cuts to the president's desk

And it's my suspicion that in millions of homes across America (particularly those that voted for Donald Trump just over a year ago) this is all filtered out as so much noise and static.

Of more interest will be the Senate passing a tax reform bill. And yes, while it will help billionaires more than it will low-paid America (I suspect not that many will benefit from the tax relief on private jets), it will nevertheless benefit them a bit.

And there are signs that wages are picking up for blue-collar workers. Unemployment is very low, which means in some sectors there are labour shortages, which in turn means that pay is having to rise to attract workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is seeing big growth in demand for production and transportation jobs.

Meanwhile, big business America is promising that the slashing of the corporation tax rate that Congress is promising will filter through to greater investment, which in turn will lead to more jobs and higher wages. There is a buoyancy out there.

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Image caption Wall Street, the focal-point of the US financial sector, is enjoying exuberant times

And if you are someone whose pension is tied up in the stock market, you will be looking at the performance of Wall Street and thinking that every day is Christmas, as this president will repeatedly remind you.

The performance of shares (a fickle indicator) has been extraordinary. Confidence is returning.

OK, if you are being pernickety then yes, this bull run on the stock market predates Donald Trump coming to power - the market has been on an upward tick for years.

And ditto - the promise of trickle-down economics has been made before with decidedly mixed results.

But President Trump is nothing if not a great marketeer - and he will make sure he owns every favourable economic indicator that emerges.

And he will make sure every American will be told to believe it is all down to him. Just look at his Twitter feed - the multiple exclamation marks tell you what he thinks.

And then you look at the president's travel ban from six Muslim-majority countries - something which has caused a good deal of outrage around the world, but which was one of his populist key promises during the campaign.

The battle is not finished yet, and it may be months or even years before the Supreme Court delivers a final verdict.

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Image caption The travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries was recently upheld by the Supreme Court

But the justices gave the president an important fillip this week. They voted by seven to two to allow the wholesale implementation of the measure, pending the outcome of the various legal challenges. That was an important legal victory.

And there are a whole range of smaller ticket items where the president has slashed at regulations that were unpopular with his grassroots supporters. For these people he is doing what he promised.

I suspect the latest twist in the Russia probe is being met with a barely stifled yawn. And this is having a positive effect on all those jittery Republican lawmakers, as they eye the midterms next November.

There is a bit of a change in mood... if tax reform gets through, if the markets continue to rise, if the president can stay out of too much trouble (he's never going to be a choirboy, they accept) then maybe there are more victories to be had.

Going back to golf, one of the great sayings is that there are no pictures on a scorecard. In other words it may not be elegant, your swing may be a heave, you might get lucky with the ball rebounding off the tree - you can win ugly, but as long as you win, that's all the scorecard is going to record.

This president only cares about the scorecard.

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