Okay, sit back down. You’re okay. Breathe. Breathe. You’ll be alright.
I said, “impactful,” okay? “Impactful.” It’s not even a Gates approved word, it underlines red in Microsoft Word. Just relax.
First, lets take a little tour and see some other impactful presidents-elect so you will get a sense of context.
Why Ronald Reagan was a great president-elect
Ronald Reagan made a big impact as a president-elect. He grunted and hummed and winked and whispered and the Iranians released the American hostages even while he was taking the oath of office on inauguration day. He had sent the signals. The Iranians had gotten the message. It didn’t take 8 years. It didn’t even take 8 minutes. Jimmy Carter was still president but we all know why they were released.
Richard Nixon made a big impact as a president-elect. He and Kissinger had agents on the ground in Paris at the peace talks with North Vietnam. Even while LBJ was trying to end the war. Lame duck, President Johnson, could only fume.
Lincoln had to keep Kentucky in the union.
Abraham Lincoln was the most impactful president-elect of all. Lame duck, President James Buchanan was having a 19th century version of a Netflix binge, nobody knew what he was up to, so with the nation being torn apart, Lincoln had to send signals from Springfield, Illinois.
He was trying, among other things, to keep Kentucky in the union and so keep his wife, Mary Todd and her family together. Happy wife, happy life? And happy country too?
Donald Trump best president-elect since Lincoln
Everything Donald Trump has done as president-elect has been impactful and strategic.
His trip to Indiana and involvement with the Carrier Company was hugely symbolic. It said, 1.) I keep my promises, 2.) This administration will be about jobs, 3.) I want it done fast.
Now, I know, the media says that the Carrier Company is only one company and a handful of jobs, he can’t go to every factory. Those jobs are a drop in the bucket.
But a president doesn’t have time to meet with the 2.79 million federal workers in his bureaucracy. They pick up on what he wants by listening to his speeches and by following his actions.
Obama was about giving speeches in the Rose Garden. Trump is about leadership on steroids, showing us by example how to get things done. Before this is over companies will be coming to him with deals that will create more jobs.
Likewise the message to Boeing was clear. You gave a million dollars to the Clinton Foundation and had all of your execs give money to Hillary’s presidential campaign. Now you want government money in return. Well, in the future, companies that want to succeed will do so better by producing products that are of good quality, come in under bid and on time and are actually needed. The day of bribe is over, the new day of supply and demand is back.
Finally, the call from Taiwan shows that everything is on the table. We know what we need from China and what they need from us and the arrangement will have to be more fair.
Changing the rules of history
When Trump delayed in naming his first cabinet officer the media pounced, using a new measurement to judge president-elects. Obama had named his first cabinet officer after three weeks, they said.
But then, lovers of history like yours truly, reminded them that Reagan, Ford, Carter, Clinton, George W. Bush, had all taken six weeks. And when Trump surprised everybody and named off cabinet picks, pop, pop, pop, the media moved the goal posts. The rules had changed. President-elects would henceforth be judged by something else, we will find it, just be patient. It will be something that Trump doesn’t do well.
The fact is, whether he is a good president or not remains to be seen, but like it or not, he is indeed an impactful president-elect. Even a great one. He is sending signals that need to be sent. He is a leader. And whether he got 40 jobs out of Carrier or 4,000 misses the point. It’s 40 more than any other president-elect has ever gotten before.
Donald Trump has come out of the gate fast.