The Trump tornado is sweeping through Washington and we have never seen anything like this in the last 50 years best I can determine. Let me just show you a very simple example–I will compare the first three work days of the newly installed Obama Administration in January 2009.
Remember the daunting crisis facing our economy back in January 2009? It was a real problem. Obama was sworn in on a Tuesday (that was January 20). I have pulled the relevant headlines from the Washington Post for the dates January 21 thru January 23 (in other words, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).
Here was Obama’s first day in office, A Day in the Life, as reported in the Post:
How President Obama spent his first full day in office:
Arrives and spends 10 minutes alone. Reads a note left for him by former president George W. Bush that was in an envelope marked “To: #44, From: #43.”
Talks over day’s events with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. At some point in the morning, calls Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah II to discuss the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Driveway on south side of White House
Emerges from Oval Office with first lady Michelle Obama. Gets in limousine for motorcade to Washington National Cathedral for inaugural prayer service.
Leaves cathedral in motorcade for White House.
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Attends swearing-in ceremony for White House staff. Gives speech and signs two executive orders and three presidential memorandums requiring staff to comply with new rules governing lobbying and the release of public information. Also announces that pay will be frozen for staff members earning $100,000 or more.
Meets with economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter R. Orszag, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody C. Barnes, and White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate Policy Carol M. Browner.
Meets with military advisers, including Vice President Biden, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Emanuel, national security adviser James L. Jones, Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the presidential oath of office to Obama for a second time. It takes 25 seconds.
SOURCES: White House, White House pool reports
Here is are the relevant headlines on succeeding days:
The Washington Post; January 22, 2009; 587 words …close the detention facility, President Obama has moved one step closer to ending the…States’ reputation worldwide. Yet Mr. Obama shows appropriate prudence in taking things…will be on hold until May 20, giving Mr. Obama and his advisers some four months to decide…
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; 601 words President Obama took a surprise tour of the White House…say hello and introduce myself to you,” Obama said, moving beyond the 49-seat briefing…secretary Robert Gibbs said that after Obama’s first day of work, the president…
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; Garance Franke-Ruta – Washington Post Staff Writer; 648 words President Obama‘s awkward swearing-in ceremony and…Harvard Law School and an informal adviser to Obama. The oath itself, however, is the only…previous president from the White House. Obama is the seventh president to have restated…
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; Eugene Robinson; 700+ words Before President Obama can do, he must undo. The executive orders that Obama signed yesterday concerning the detention of terrorism suspects are a beginning. Much more remains to be undone.
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; Joby Warrick Karen DeYoung – Washington Post Staff Writers; 700+ words President Obama took dramatic steps yesterday to reverse…Flanked by 16 retired generals and admirals, Obamasigned executive orders fulfilling his…whose operations were suspended by Obama on Wednesday — might be preserved in…
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; Dana Priest – Washington Post Staff Writer; 700+ words President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial…its enemies will not be limitless. While Obama says he has no plans to diminish counterterrorism…at the Bush administration’s lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion…
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; Karen DeYoung Glenn Kessler – Washington Post Staff Writers; 700+ words President Obama traveled to the State Department yesterday…difficult days lie ahead” in Afghanistan. Obama and Vice President Biden stood to one side…leadership in pursuit of progress and peace.” Obama said the two statesmen would “convey our…
The Washington Post; January 23, 2009; 700+ words REGULATORS President Obama appointed Michael J. Copps as acting chairman of the Federal Communications…The appointment is expected to be temporary. Julius Genachowski, Obama‘s tech adviser, is expected to be named head of the agency. LEGAL…
The Washington Post; January 24, 2009; Lori Montgomery David Cho – Washington Post Staff Writers; 700+ words …bracing for a fresh request from President Obama for another massive round of spending to…and lawmakers last week agreed to give Obama access to the second half.But with the…who speaks regularly with top officials. Obama has pledged, for instance, to use at…
The Washington Post; January 24, 2009; Paul Kane Michael D Shear – Washington Post Staff Writers; 700+ words President Obama ramped up his personal lobbying campaign…and urging swift passage of the plan. Obama, who has seen GOP support for the package…according to some who were in the room. Obama hopes to receive broad bipartisan support…
After reviewing this list, what jumps out at you? Remember, we were in the depths of a financial and economic crisis. People were losing their homes and their jobs. Where were the meetings at the White House with the Bankers? With the Wall Street profiteers? With the major job creators? With labor leaders?
Nothing. Crickets. With the benefit of hindsight we look back and realize that Obama really did not have a clue what he was doing.
Trump, by contrast, is engaged in a form of Political Blitzkrieg (sorry to use a term associated with the Nazi war machine, but I think that term, which describes a comprehensive military offensive that left defenders reeling, is appropriate for the political realm).
If Trump can only stop being such a petty narcissist, grow some thick skin and take the high road, he is on the road to radically changing America and in a good way.