The planning began August 1, when Trump's poll numbers began falling as he faced an unprecedented onslaught from the media. Taxpayers pay for this under a law designed to avoid the catastrophe in 2000 when it took five weeks after Election Day to decide that George Walker Bush won. That gave him less than thirty days (which included Christmas) to put together a government.
Chris Christie and his long-time friend and former law partner, William Palatucci, are running the operation inside an office building at 1217 Pennsylvania Avenue. Their spokesman is Stephen Moore, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Day One will be well-prepared, even though it begins at noon and includes inauguration balls that evening.
Trump will have a phone and a pen, just like Obama.
“Trump spends several hours signing papers—and erases the Obama Presidency,” Moore told Osnos. “We want to identify maybe twenty-five executive orders that Trump could sign literally the first day in office.”
Live by the executive order, die by the executive order.
And yes, all this can be done in his first hour in office.
William Antholis, a political scientist who directs the Miller Center, at the University of Virginia, pointed out that President Trump would have, at his disposal, “the world’s largest company, staffed with 2.8 million civilians and 1.5 million military employees.” Trump would have the opportunity to alter the Supreme Court, with one vacancy to fill immediately and others likely to follow. Three sitting Justices are in their late seventies or early eighties.But he gets only 4,000 political appointees. This shows how difficult it is to manage an out-sized government.
Also, the vast majority of those 2.8 million civilian employees are liberal Democrats.
Borrowing a page from Scott Walker (my first choice as president), Trump plans to take on the unfireables (as Washington Monthly founder Charles Peters calls them) who have job security no matter how awful they are.
Trump has relied heavily on the ideas of seasoned combatants. Newt Gingrich, who, as House Speaker in the nineties, pioneered many of the tactics that have come to define partisan warfare, is now a Trump adviser. Gingrich told me that he is urging Trump to give priority to an obscure but contentious conservative issue—ending lifetime tenure for federal employees. This would also galvanize Republicans and help mend rifts in the Party after a bitter election.
“Getting permission to fire corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest workers—that’s the absolute showdown,” Gingrich said. He assumes that federal employees’ unions would resist, thus producing, in his words, an “ongoing war” similar to the conflict that engulfed Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker moved to limit public-sector employees’ collective-bargaining rights. After five months of protests, and a failed effort to recall the Governor and members of the state senate, Walker largely prevailed. Gingrich predicts that that chaotic dynamic can be brought to Washington. “You have to end the civil-service permanent employment,” he said. “You start changing that and the public-employee unions will just come unglued.”Trump likely will have an advantage Reagan did not have: Control of both houses of Congress.
Bush 43 blew his opportunity (the first Republican to enjoy such support since Eisenhower).
After that, the article devolved into paranoia that portrayed Trump as a guy who may want to nuke people. I guess straight reporting is dead, even at New Yorker.
My new book, "Trump the Press," is a fun read that details how the experts missed the rise of Trump. Remember how they said Trump was just running to help Hillary? Read the reviews in the right column.
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