Chris Whipple, author of The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, told MSNBC on Monday that President Donald Trump’s leaked schedule reveals a president less engaged with his job than even Ronald Reagan.
Host Hallie Jackson asked what was so bad about the president’s unstructured executive time, and Whipple responded with a question of his own: how much is too much?
“Sixty percent of your time on a given day? Unheard of, unprecedented, choose your favorite adjective from the last two years,” he said. “Ronald Reagan, who was famously hands off as president, was nevertheless in the Oval Office at 9:00 A.M. sharp and the old actor was hitting his marks.”
“The most precious asset of any presidency is the president’s time. It’s not just the bully pulpit, it’s the way you deploy the president to execute your agenda,” Whipple continued. “In fairness to Trump, I will say this, it is possible to overschedule a president.” Whipple described the chaos of trying to “corral” the “famously undisciplined” President Bill Clinton, saying that once his staff gave him time off, the president quickly got a handle on his schedule.
“They had to create more time for [Clinton], with the result he did get on schedule and, most importantly, they gave him time to think,” Whipple said. “I don’t think anybody suspects that Donald Trump is spending his executive time figuring out Middle East peace or an alternative to ObamaCare. He seems to be channel surfing and calling his pals.”
Watch the video below.