As of this moment I am rooting for Donald Trump. He is the president-elect and no matter how much noise he makes with Twitter before inauguration it is all still just a movie trailer. Tactics to build hype for the show opening. So here is to hoping that Donald Trump ends up being a great president who made America great again. Whatever that looks like.
What I think is interesting about this junket time between the election and inauguration is something I have witnessed and coined “leadership by headline”. The photo ops with big stars and the like at Trump Tower. The announcements about inconsequential amounts of jobs he saved by making some sort of odd deals with companies like Carrier and Sprint. The stand-off between him and Obama on topics like Israel and Russia. The apparent rift between the intelligence community where he seems to be siding with Putin or at least waiting it out.
The “by headline” part of this is simply that nothing tangible or relevant is happening. It is all just for the media coverage and a way for him to keep it rolling. It is still a ratings and media game for him. An extension of the election. It has been quite good fun. We all just watch and wonder and look to each other and say boy what a crazy time we live in.
In about 20 days this will end for him. Leadership by Headline will be over and the most important first 100 days in the history of our presidents will begin. All of us regardless of party will be expecting big things. Republicans have the most on the line. It will be a bad scene in America if Trump disappoints his supporters like Obama disappointed some of his supporters. Where does that leave us in 4 years? Two sides who are really upset with few real options on the horizon. Throw in the fact that they will still hate the opposite side but have equal contempt for their own. Not so pretty. The appointments Trump has made are almost all elite career insiders. This matters because Trump was elected by the working classes. Who actually think that manufacturing jobs will come back by the millions or that the Donald will have something for them. Big league expectations to drain the swamp and start winning again and all for the average Joes and Janes. Sure…
Will Leadership by Headline survive into March 2017? It will be interesting to see. I don’t think it will. But then again 2016 wasn’t a year for stable expectations. One thing I am sure about is that the Donald has only a handful of blunders available to him. Any more than a couple will start a snowball leading to him being ridden out of Washington. The only thing that can keep it rolling for him after January 20 is results on real things. Leadership by results is something America needs to get back to. Good luck Donald.