I accept the much better definition of a recession (NOT just the NBER telling us so) which is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.
I stick to this definition no matter who is in the White House and no matter what other conditions exist.
Why is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth a better definition:
1) It is immediately known if we are in one. NBER can take MONTHS to declare if we were in a recession or not.
2) There is no subjectivity. We either are in one or we aren't.
3) There can't be an anomaly of an economic indicator that either keeps us out of a recession or puts us into one like is the case with the NBER.
What the NBER does is a deeper dive into how the economy is doing, but again, it's not that helpful to find out MONTHS later, AND we shouldn't decide that a "recession" means the economy is in a horrible state. Some recessions are shallow. Some, like this one, have a terrific unemployment rate.
A recession is simply two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. That's it.