Dear President Trump: It's Time for Some Conventional Political Finesse
Get one thing straight: I believe that President Trump is a good man with a good heart. In my opinion, most of the less-than-stellar moments his administration has faced so far have been due to a combination of political inexperience, an impulse to garner attention with rogue positioning, a pugnacious core personality, and a failure to allow more professional advisors to hone his messaging. I believe he is right on the issues and often maladroit in the arena of communications with the millions of voters outside his base of support.
I don’t believe for a minute that the president is a racist, but with the Russian collusion scandal veering into realms Valerie Jarrett and her ilk probably didn’t bank on, the race card is the new anti-Trump ticket.
These recommendations come from concern for the political climate, and the hope that Mr. Trump can sidestep distractive and largely media-blown fundamental irrelevancies, batten down the administrative hatches, and focus on his winning agenda for the remainder of his term.
Caution (as our old friend Billo used to say): Trump did not get elected singing the tune of conventional politicians. We wanted the bull in the china shop, the dismantler in chief, the swamp-drainer extraordinaire. It can all still happen, but it’s time for some conventional finesse.
Where do I get off presuming to advise the president? I’m just another voter—who voted for Trump and is now exercising his First Amendment rights.
Henceforth, all presidential tweets should be crafted by committee in close association with General John Kelly, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. No tweet should go out without the approval of the comms staff and without opportunities for input on edits and word choice. It is not that difficult to write essentially banal, all-encompassing, and non-controversial 140-character statements. Any competent corporate communications officer or attorney could rattle one off in less than five minutes.
Tweet content should be confined to policy declarations, in a tone of managerial responsibility, and nothing more.
Tweets should go out only during regular business hours, EST. The opposition is making too much hay out of the late-night stuff—don’t hand them the fodder. Transform the tweet visual to an image of the chief executive at his desk surrounded by trusted advisors.
Phrases like “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” “I don’t want to comment prematurely,” “ongoing investigation,” and "let’s let our law enforcement/intelligence agencies/elected officials finish their review” should become part of the President Donald J. Trump daily lexicon.
Read up on the life of President “Silent” Calvin Coolidge, with a side-order of Eisenhower. You don’t have to comment on every question/issue thrown your way. Most voters, especially your base voters, only perk up and listen when you say the wrong things, because we’re worried about the take-down effort. For the most part, with the ultimate respect, please just clam up.