Trump: ‘I thought it would be easier’
President Trump has made a jaw-dropping admission, said Tara Golshan in Vox.com. In an interview with Reuters last week, the former businessman confessed he hadn’t appreciated just how tough his new job would be. “This is more work than in my previous life,” he said. “I thought it would be easier.” No kidding. Aside from the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump’s first 100 days were marked mostly by failure and frustration, including the disastrous attempt to repeal Obamacare, and the blocking of his controversial travel bans in court. He reversed his simplistic positions on several major foreign policy issues—including China, NATO, and Syria—and his border wall remains a fantasy. “No president is ever, really, ready for the job,” said Chris Cillizza in CNN.com. But Trump came into office with a “minuscule” understanding of government and the legislative process, and has been shocked to discover that a president “can’t just snap his fingers” and have his whims carried out.
Underestimate Trump at your peril, said Chris Stirewalt in FoxNews.com. As a political neophyte, he initially had no idea how to run a political campaign, “but he was quick to learn and quick to adapt”—and eventually won both the nomination and the election. Rather than mock Trump, Democrats better worry he’ll “learn on the job” again. He’s already doing exactly that, said Annie Linskey in The Boston Globe. To avoid a repeat of the chaos that marred the early days of the administration, the White House has implemented processes for “vetting policy ideas,” and begun involving members of Congress in crafting legislation. Trump will never be “a conventional president,” but his inexperienced administration is starting to figure things out.
You’re in denial, said Kevin Williamson in National Review.com. It’s already clear Trump has no clue how to translate his extravagant campaign promises into action, and like the reality-TV star he is, has instead relied on “a flurry of shallow symbolic gestures that create the illusion that he is doing something meaningful,” such as signing vague executive orders. He’s installed political amateurs in the White House, including his own family, and can’t figure out what he thinks about Russia, North Korea, health care, or taxes, issuing threats and pronouncements he reverses the next day. “Conservatives had better start facing the fact that the president is a man overmatched by his job.”