Do we need to brace ourselves for Trump being perceived as a “great President”?

The fellow on the left of the photo (above) is Jared Kushner. He is the son-in-law of Donald Trump and, perhaps, “the power behind the throne” of the new President. An MBA and Harvard graduate, he knows how to run a business. Given Trump’s extraordinary victory, of which he was the architect, he is also a successful political campaign manager.

It was often said of Ronald Reagan, regarded by some as a “great President” of the US, that he was a good manager. That is, that he chose good people to work for him, who made good decisions.

Due to the 1967 anti-nepotism law, Kushner can’t be in the cabinet or, some say, on the White House staff. But he could be a key adviser to President Trump.

Already Mr Kushner has been meeting the Japanese Prime Minister and taking part in behind the scenes discussions with other countries. He is being mooted as a Middle East “peace envoy”. A sort of Henry Kissinger? (Except Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State – a post Kushner can’t hold).

It is conceivable that Kushner could make or break the Trump presidency. Every President needs advisers with whom he has good relationships. Kushner, and other staff/cabinet picks, could make President Trump successful.

It troubles me to say that, when we have people like Steve Bannon (another Harvard graduate) being brought into the fold, but it is a reality we may need to face.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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19 Comments

  • Paul Murray 27th Nov '16 - 1:04pm

    I invoke Betteridge’s Law that the answer to any headline presented in the form of a question is always “NO”.

  • I don’t think it will be the complete disaster that some people expect / want it to be.

  • Trump doesn’t appear to be a nice man, but we should all hope that he’s a great president because what he does will affect people’s lives, so I hope he does well.

    Trump only won because the voters in several large northern states that the democrats neglected and took for granted supported his message of protecting their jobs.

    We are in the middle of a forth turning as predicted in 1991. The elites should understand this. Al Gore was so impressed by generations the history of Americas future that he sent a copy to every member of congress.

    The globalist elites neo liberal policies have failed millions of working people. The attitude from all mainstream parties was tough, there is no alternative to our current system of importing cheap labour from poor countries when a job can’t be sent to the third world. People are told if they are not highly skilled then they have to be poor and just accept that. That’s appalling.

    This uncompromising generation of leaders have been so uncompromising and in flexible saying that there can be no alternative to this system that the pressure just builds and builds until it’s all gets broken.

    Those saying that the eu referdum result result should not be impemented should take note. We could do without having a British version of trump.

  • It has every likelihood of being considered a success – the rich half of america will feel good and invest and spend, no one listens to or remembers thenither half, and he’s likely to claw back substantial amounts the US has been spending keeping places like germany and japan safe.

    the real danger is that the true conservatives wait until Trump is sworn in and then make his resignation/impeachment happen so that Pence takes over.

    intetesting bits – (i) the republicans have control of the executive and meaningful control of the legislature, and will weight the judiciary their way soon too – no more blaming ‘liberal elites’ !;
    (ii) given the nature of the President Elect’s official team, nepotism seems a good thing (almost) – the Trump Jrs are much better options than some of the gargoyles he’s been hiring. Pity they didn’t get elected and don’t need a salary …

  • Britain is not the 51st state so whether Trump is a good president is not a direct concern to many people. In todays world China is of growing importance.

  • Richard Easter 27th Nov '16 - 3:24pm

    What do the Liberal Democrats have to say to the Welsh and Teeside steel workers? What do they have to say to junior doctors? What do they have to say to railway ticket office staff and Southern train guards facing the axe (soon to be followed by Northern under the new franchising)? What do they have to say to the 12,000 armed forces personnel who have been laid off? What do they have to say to the IT or call centre worker who has had their job offshored? What about the taxi drivers being undercut by Uber and indeed the exploited Uber and Deliveroo workers? The fishermen in Looe? The white van men who make a living doing odd jobs and struggle? The window cleaners? Shopkeepers struggling? The council workers now outsourced to hated corporations like G4S?

    These are the people who likely voted or would vote for Corbyn, The Greens, UKIP and SNP and very likely a large Brexit contingent. They are Britain’s Trump voters.

    What can we say to them and what can we do for them? They all more than likely hold one or all of the following in utter contempt: free trade, corporations, the technocratic political elite, free movement, privatisation, offshoring, liberal economics, the EU commission, bankers and open borders.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th Nov '16 - 5:45pm

    Paul is right to ask , but wrong to fear it , for it is unlikely !

    As an aside , I think it very possible with his fans he is going to be considered to be terrific but not with anyone of us watching carefully . Kushner is a relief compared with Bannon.

    That much is welcome .

  • Lee_Thacker 27th Nov '16 - 8:30pm

    “What can we say to them and what can we do for them? They all more than likely hold one or all of the following in utter contempt: free trade, corporations, the technocratic political elite, free movement, privatisation, offshoring, liberal economics, the EU commission, bankers and open borders.”

    @ Richard Easter, well if we try to appease them too much this member of more than 25 years standing will certainly cancel his direct debits.

  • It all depends on what you mean by great. If his policies work for Americans then they will consider him great. If he ushers in an era of less wars he will have done some good. It’s worth remembering that Putin is not going to live forever and that forging stronger links with Russia could have long term benefits. Really, the West and Russia should have been far less entrenched in cold war thinking after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  • If his policies help create decent jobs for Americans, he will go down as a great president by the American people and that’s what will get him re-elected. As for being leader of the free world he can’t do much worse than Obama. His legacy is the middle east in total chaos and doing very little – or nothing – to stop Russian aggression in Syria, Ukraine and Crimea.

  • Mark
    In 2016 the Chinese government announced large scale closures and redundancies in heavy and primary industries, many of which were functioning as zombie companies, with 1.8 million redundancies (15% of workforce) in the coal and steel industries planned to take place by 2020.
    British steel has to specialise in high-quality, high-value steel products.

  • Malc – Much as I hated Trump’s divisive and nasty campaign, and hoped he would lose to a much better qualified woman, I think your comment is pretty fair assessment. Trump 2020 will depend on ‘the economy, stupid’, as Bill’s campaign used to put it. Or at least, perceptions of the economy. I also agree Obama’s foreign policy has not been stellar, stirring up democratic revolutionary movements and then failing to back them up when push came to shove. (Hillary must bear some responsibility for this too, as Sec/State in his first term). But ‘Can’t do much worse?’ How quickly you have forgotten George W Bush!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Nov '16 - 2:21pm

    President -elect Trump , a right wing populist who jumped on the Republican party vehicle moving in the same direction, has issued a statement full popped from the cork pulled champagne bottle , celebrating the passing of Castro.

    Prime Minister Trudeau , a left wing populist who jumped on the Liberal Party demise moving nowhere and revived it , has issued a grovelling tribute to an old chum of his father , mourning the passing of Castro.

    Party leader Tim Farron , a Liberal and a Democrat , who has no power in government , issued a statement that ,in my view which I placed on his Facebook page , puts our party leader amongst the Liberal statesmen, on the passing of Castro.

    A man has passed by who did some good . And much harm. As Liberal Democrats we need to not brace ourselves for a Great Trump presidency or any call of horrible views as such. But Trump is not all bad . Anymore than Castro was . We have the better leaders in Blighty and our party !

  • TA Gilbert

    “How quickly you have forgotten George W Bush!”

    Fair point.

  • Alex Macfie 28th Nov '16 - 2:54pm

    Lorenzo Cherin: Trudeau’s office also released a bland message of Congratulations to Trump on his election. Contrast with Tim Farron’s excellent and not-so-diplomatic response. Trudeau is Head of Government and has to follow diplomatic protocol; Farron is leader of a small opposition party and can get away without it.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Nov '16 - 3:11pm

    Alex

    The fact that you show Trudeau made a bland statement on Trump with no praise , but on Castro was effusive in his praise, proves my point ! There are previous examples of the iliberalism of Trudeau, the latest, just as important . Read his comments on the Cuban dictator , a glowing eulogy more in keeping with Corbyn or Galloway. Presidents Obama and Carter were friendly , based on human shared values, The leader of the Canadians is a laughing stock on Twitter . Check out Trudeaueulegies

  • Simon Banks 28th Nov '16 - 5:09pm

    Since many Americans hold as an article of faith that the US is “the greatest country in the world” without knowing anything about most of the countries in the world, yes, Trump could be perceived as a “great President”. If he wrecks the climate change deal, he will not BE a great President.

    So far his appointments are a mixture of aggressive hardliners with a few moderates. That he nominated his Ambassador to the United Nations by saying the man was “a proven deal-doer” is a good sign: he accepts the US has to do deals and not just bully everyone; and he accepts the UN is one of the places to do such deals. His proposed economic policies would be disastrous. Whatever you think about globalisation, the US cannot afford to build tariff barriers or subsidise manufactures, provoking a trade war. If its car manufacturing – for example – is to prosper, it has to sell abroad. Besides, as Liberals, we cannot celebrate poorer countries being hit in order to protect the wealth of the richest countries.

    Next to climate change, his admiration of Putin is the most dangerous thing. If Putin thinks he has a green light in the Ukraine and Moldova – then the Baltic republics – I can see Trump being attacked for his inaction and then over-reacting. The nuclear world relies on nuclear powers being able to understand the others and predict how they will react. Trump is unpredictable.

    In domestic policy, he has Republican majorities in both houses, which gives him a huge advantage over Obama. But are they Trump majorities? On standard right-wing policies, yes. But Trump isn’t a standard right-winger.

    The record of businessmen entering politics and public administration is not impressive. The rules are different. We will see.

  • Lorenzo’
    If the American election showed us one thing. It’s that trial by Twitter means very little in the scheme.

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