John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Donald Trump is the New Sheriff in Town

Posted on January 30, 2017
Also published in Political Storm

Now that he’s got your attention . . .

Donald Trump’s first week has been a whirlwind of activity – tweets, executive orders, meetings, proposals, television interviews, and staff turmoil.

Is this the new normal?  Or will Team Trump get into a rhythm and calm down a bit?

Time will tell, but we know this for certain: Mr. Trump will not be your typical president and Mr. Trump’s White House will not be your typical White House operation.

Pick your cliché.  Upsetting the apple cart or a bull in a china shop.  Either one works.  Mr. Trump is taking a hammer to the status quo.

In all fairness, you were warned during the campaign that he would act this way.

He said he would build a wall on Mexico’s northern border and make the Mexicans pay for it.  And with his signature on one of his first executive orders, he made good on the law that was passed a decade ago by Congress (a law which garnered the vote of Chuck Schumer).

He said he was going to be a man of action.  Had Congress (and President Obama) followed through on its promise to secure the southern border, Trump probably wouldn’t have won the election.

Our relationship with Mexico is complicated.  We have been exporting a lot of jobs there since NAFTA passed, and they have been exporting a lot of illegal drugs here.  That’s not entirely their fault.  Lots of Americans like to do illegal narcotics, despite our best efforts to win the war on drugs.  And lots of American companies love hard-working Mexican laborers, who cost less and tend to be very productive.

American companies also like the fact that Mexico has free trade agreements with the entirety of South and Central America, making it even more attractive to move their manufacturing hubs there.

President Trump wants a better deal for the American people when it comes to our relationship with Mexico.  He believes that starts by building a wall and by renegotiating NAFTA.

Trump is keeping faith with those who voted for him, the folks he called "forgotten" by Washington policy makers during his stark inaugural address.  He has gotten kudos from labor leaders, many of whom supported his opponent, for meeting with them and strategizing on how to keep jobs in America.

Of course, it hasn’t been all rosy for the new president.

He hurt his credibility by insisting that more people came to his inaugural than to President Obama’s 2009 swearing in. I have been to 7 inaugurations, and nothing could compare to Mr. Obama’s crowds. Mr. Trump’s was solidly in the middle of all of those I have seen, not the biggest but certainly not the smallest.

He also insisted that he would have won more total votes if it weren’t for all the illegal voters.  Most Republicans believe that Democrats try to win elections through fraud, because there is a rich history of them attempting to do so, stretching back to Tammany Hall. But never has a politician complained so bitterly after winning an election. The whole episode exposed the new president as impulsive and thin-skinned, not a good look for Mr. Trump.

One thing we do know is that President Trump will not get the benefit of the doubt from the mainstream media.  Steve Bannon is right when he says that the media elite represents the opposition, although less right when he urges them to shut up.

An adversarial press plays an important role in protecting American democracy.  But there is adversarial and then there is what the media has become, a cheerleader for the liberal elite’s worldview.

It used to be that skeptical reporters from America’s heartland, guys like David Broder and Bob Novak, would skewer politicians on both sides of the aisle.  Now, reporters tweet their disdain not only for Republican politicians, but also for Republican voters.  Undoubtedly, they agreed with Hillary Clinton’s assessment that most of them are deplorable.

Well, those deplorables elected our new president and he is going to fight for their interests, no matter what the media says about him.  His first week was a revelation that there’s a new sheriff in town, and he is going to a lot different from the old sheriff.