Q-and-A, slightly edited, is below.
What if he loses?
Because we have been waiting for months to inaugurate a President and how Trump came in
CNN: We are holding presidential elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. But the new president will not take office until January. What is the reason for this gap and is it still necessary?
KAB: The reason for this gap is to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and it is absolutely necessary. Maybe now more than ever.
I interviewed more than two dozen people who worked for Barack Obama and George W. Bush and on both sides told me they had a smooth transition, which was important at a time when the country was going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. depression. The first head of Michelle Obama’s staff, Jackie Norris, told me that “she will never forget the intense camaraderie and loyalty that the first ladies and members of the first women’s staff have.” The same goes for the West Wing.
The accidental approach of the Trump campaign is dangerous. To be sure, this is due to the fact that no one in his campaign team had taken the time to compose an acceptance speech. They didn’t think they would win.
Trump won the election in part by saying he would “drain the swamp,” but there are key federal government responsibilities that would be better equipped to manage if he had some level of institutional knowledge (Joe Biden is just the opposite). And that takes time, which means it takes two months to make an appointment and find out how things work.
I wrote in my book The Group of Five that Obama’s aides were required to prepare “how to” manuals on how to operate their offices, including details as small as passwords on the answering machine.
This is from the book:
But Obama’s aides had no one to hand over the carefully edited newsletters.
Career employees were waiting at the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Commerce and the entire extended bureaucracy. They wanted guidance – they wanted to know who their new bosses were and how their jobs would change in a Trump presidency – but they got nothing. In fact, some high-ranking officials have been waiting and waiting, after weeks of silence, to assume that they are no longer employed and are filling their offices.
How could Trump come out?
CNN: Having watched Trump’s first term, what are the things to look for in a post-defeat transition?
CNN: The United States is known for its peaceful transfer of power. Is there a precedent for a lost president or his administration to ruin the exit?
KAB: Historically, there have certainly been some bitter defeats (see John Adams and Thomas Jefferson), but in modern times both sides have expressed their ability to peacefully transfer power. During the 2008 campaign, Bush’s director of national intelligence, John Michael McConnell, arranged for Obama and his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, to report on the thirteen most important national security issues. Once, during the last two months of the 2008 campaign, Obama and McCain met at the same table at the Roosevelt Room, with Bush sitting between them as they discussed Congressional $ 700 billion bailout approval. of the sick shipping market.
Bush and Obama had real respect for each other. Revealing the official portraits of George W. Bush and Laura Bush at the White House in May 2012, Obama said: “President Bush has realized that saving our economy was not just a matter of democracy or republicanism, it was a US priority. You are grateful for that. “Contrary to President Trump, he is reportedly not inviting President Obama to his portrait in the White House.
It is unlikely that Trump will refuse to leave
CNN: Trump is not the kind of person who just goes quietly. What kind of things could he do if he wanted to throw a sprocket at the government machine?
KAB: He could refuse to leave, but I don’t see it happening. There was a discussion on the left, especially Bill Macher, so it’s something on people’s minds. I have a hard time imagining
Trump sits on the steps of the Capitol with hundreds of thousands of people cheering for his departure.
Former presidents have traditionally had a resounding admiration for each other, even after being forced out of office. After Ronald Reagan spoke at the opening of Jimmy Carter’s library, Carter said: “Now I understand more clearly than I ever had before why you won.”
Jimmy Carter apologized to George W. Bush for his devotion to the Bush Library because he was too harsh with him, especially for his candid criticism of the Iraq war. “Oh, silence,” Bush replied. Can you imagine what happens to Trump and whoever succeeds him, whenever it happens?
What if he wins?
Strengthening the bold
CNN: No President has been accused, acquitted or re-elected. You can imagine that if he won, Trump would feel more courageous than anyone else in history. How could Trump deal with the office in a second term as the ultimate winner?
KAB: I think he will feel bold in doing whatever he wants. When I interviewed him about my book, shortly after the Mueller exhibition was published, he felt relieved. He was genuinely enthusiastic and willing to talk about how he thinks he has done more than any president in history. So I can imagine his reaction to being re-elected after a stalemate. Many of the time he spends governing only with his supporters in mind, and if re-elected, will prove the enormous power of his constituents. I think he will criticize journalists and the so-called “deep situation” even more than today. It would not be a good scene.
There is no historical precedent for Trump
CNN: Is there another president who came to the White House unpopular and then won the re-election unpopular? Is there another two-year president as divisive as Trump?
KAB: I think George W. Bush was incredibly divisive, but not to that extent. Its approval ratings have risen since their departure. And as Trump was elected without the popular vote. Bush followed in his father’s footsteps and remained largely on the sidelines. He has watched his approval ratings rise because the absence makes the heart grow. I can’t predict that Trump will remain on the sidelines.
Unpopular presidents and second term
CNN: What can we learn from the second term of the presidents who were not overly popular in their re-election and won against expectations (I’m thinking of Harry Truman here or Richard Nixon)?
KAB: If you look at Nixon and Watergate, the narrow margin victory made him more paranoid and irrational and led to his resignation. This example is not good.
Trump and the successor to the GOP
CNN: We have a deep guess here, but I wondered, if Trump won, how he would deal with Mike Pence, who was a loyal soldier during that first term. It’s hard to imagine that someone with Trump’s reality show simply delivers the stick to someone like Pence, who no doubt doesn’t have Trump’s ability to drama, as the next logical candidate for the GOP. What does history tell us?
KAB: Trump is not loyal to the people just because they are loyal to him. I think he would treat Mike Pence if he was re-elected because, of course, Pence would help him persuade evangelical voters to stay with him. But I don’t think the faith would last long, and Trump could support someone else if Pence ran in 2024. It wouldn’t translate into long-term support unless it benefited him somewhat.