Donald Trump will leave most of his day-to-day decisions as president to his White House staff while he holds rallies and goofs off, according to his biographers.
Politico gathered a panel of four authors again to discuss Trump after his confounding election win, and they agreed that he simply lacked the attention span and management skills to run his own administration.
“He’s not going to — he’s going to want to talk about big issues, and there’s so many day-to-day decisions in a White House that have enormous impact that he’s not going to want to be bothered with,” said Wayne Barrett, who has written two biographies of Trump. “His management skills are extremely limited.”
Trump has already said he would delegate presidential responsibilities he found boring, which would leave much of those decisions to his chief of staff, and his biographers agreed he liked holding rallies too much to stop.
“I think when the advisors need him, they’re going to find him in the Rose Garden on a pogo stick, bouncing around, watching CNN on a flat panel,” said Tim O’Brien, author of “Trump Nation.”
The president-elect is reportedly considering Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of the white nationalist website Breitbart News, as his chief of staff — along with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, former campaign managers Corey Lewandowski and Kellyanne Conway, and former Citizens United president David Bossie.
“He’s got the nuclear codes and access to the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet, and that’s one of my biggest fears as a citizen and as a journalist,” O’Brien said. “It’s a concern because he doesn’t regulate his own emotions, he’s not a disciplined thinker, and I could see him surrounding himself with people that say to him, ‘Oh, North Korea just got a little bit out of the cage there. Let’s just drop a tactical nuclear weapon on them.’ I think that kind of thinking could be very present in his White House, and I think that that’s another huge policy concern with him.”
His biographers agreed that Trump and his advisors would feather their own nests from the White House, but also they said the real estate developer and former reality TV star had the tools to become a decent president, if he wants.
“I think he does want to be admired, if not beloved, so I think that’s part of him,” Barrett said. “No one has any idea of the enormity of this office and what kind of impact it can have on him. It could — I doubt it seriously — but it could make him a more serious person. The obligations here, the responsibilities here are so enormous. He’s not a fool, and he has to be aware of them.”