This week’s report card finds President-elect Trump already acting like he’s president, and having an outsized impact, especially on Pentagon projects and foreign policy. And pollster John Zogby, noting that Trump’s approval ratings seem stuck, put the blame on the Clintons who just won’t give up the 2016 presidential campaign and move on.
From Washington Examiner
President-elect Trump had another busy week, diving into and shattering a lot of conventional wisdom on national security. He’s acting as if he were already president and having more effect than Obama has had for the last eight years.
Trump worried liberal apologists for jihadism by calling the terrorist attack on the Berlin Christmas market festival an attack by Islamic terrorists, a term Obama has avoided.
On the flip side, Trump met separately with the CEO’s of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Trump had criticized Boeing, maker of the replacements for the old Air Force One, for its reported cost of $4 billion for two aircraft. Boeing’s boss left his meeting with Trump suitably chastened, promising more “affordable” aircraft. Trump had said that the cost of the Lockheed Martin F-35 was out of control. After meeting with Trump, the Lockheed boss departed without comment. Trump put a lot more pressure on her afterward, saying he’d asked Boeing for a better price on new F-18s to possibly replace the costly F-35. Jimmy Carter canceled the B-1 bomber when he took office. Trump could do the same for the F-35. It would be expensive and messy to do, but it can be done.
Trump called for Obama to veto a U.N. resolution against Israeli settlements. The U.N. Security Council, with Obama’s Ambassador Susan Rice abstaining, approved it, an important White House betrayal of Israel by Obama.
Last and certainly not least, Trump Tweeted that “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” That, of course, ignited liberal hysteria over a new arms race. Trump’s statement was a message to Russia, China and North Korea. It’s not clear what Trump wants to do with the nuclear force. It’s a force that has been seriously neglected for decades.
A mixed week for the president-elect. A big win especially with his base in meeting with defense contractors who have agreed to produce planes and military equipment for much less than previously agreed. Also he has established a tit-for-tat with both the Chinese on trade and the Russians, something they are not used to seeing. We will all have to wait to see if this non-diplomatic approach to diplomacy actually works. But he was elected and he is consistent with his message.
On the other hand, his polling numbers are borderline dismal — 41 percent favorable on likability and 41 percent approval on how he is handling his job thus far. That is much lower than any president-elect at this point.
Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton are clearly behind a campaign to de-legitimize Mr. Trump’s election which is not a good thing in a country based on free and fair elections. Does anyone remember Warren Spahn, the great left-hander pitcher in the 1950s and 1960s who just refused to give up? “I can still pitch,” Mr. Spahn would say as he was shelled by batters almost a third his age. Gotta know when to give it up, Mr. Former President and Ms. Former Secretary of State.
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