It has been just a month since Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. The former real estate magnate and reality television star has used this time period to select his key cabinet and other high level appointments and to establish the communication tone and framework for his presidency.
First of all, Donald Trump will be a president who approaches decisions thoughtfully and efficiently while adhering to timelines. To that end, Trump has already announced over twenty key appointments including most recently former GOP rival Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, retired Marine General James N. Mattis for Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General John F. Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security, and CKE Restaurant Chief Executive Officer Andrew Puzzler as Secretary of Labor.
Secondly, Trump has also demonstrated that he is not only willing to think outside the box regarding the team he assembles, but that he is also open to offering cabinet member and official level positions to individuals who previously were critical of him and his candidacy. Most notably, Trump considered Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, a move which surprised the American public given the lengths to which the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee went to discredit Trump’s presidential candidacy including describing him as dangerous for America. While the latest rumors indicate that Romney is no longer a front runner for the top diplomatic job, the fact the Trump reached out to him shows that the president-elect is able to put personal insults aside to focus on the good of America.
Trump also selected another past critic, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations. And of course, most recently, there was a shock heard around the world when former Democratic Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore showed up at Trump Tower. However, Trump’s subsequent appointment for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a long time EPA critic, quickly dissipated any notion that Trump actually shared Gore’s theories on climate change. But at least he demonstrated that he was willing to listen to an opposing point of view.
Thirdly, Trump has also conveyed that his slogan “drain the swamp” is not just a slogan. He intends to get rid of wasteful spending and for that matter inefficient personnel and lopsided contracts. His recent tweet “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” is indicative of this philosophy. Of course, the media have jumped all over this tweet and started fact checking the $4 billion figure. That being said, congress and the American people need to be ready for a president who is going to question expenses and deal provisions with a level of scrutiny which we probably have not seen from the Oval Office in some time.
Fourthly, much has been made about how Trump successfully played the media over the course of his campaign and garnered an incredible amount of free publicity. The president-elect clearly has an uncanny ability to create anticipation and engagement around key announcements and appearances. After all, we have all spent the last few weeks anticipating his Secretary of State pick. As President Trump, this affinity and competency for showmanship will no doubt continue.
Finally, this past week, Trump rounded up his “thank you” tour with stops in Iowa and Michigan. Thank you tour? Yes, in addition to his healthy ego and lack of political correctness, our president-elect also knows the importance of gratitude. How is that for a breath of fresh air?