Pundits are bemoaning the fact that Trump will take the oath of office without having his foreign policy teams fleshed out, and without many of his Cabinet officers confirmed. The pundits worry that Trump will be unprepared to face an early foreign policy crisis, having few seasoned people to rely upon.
I think it’s a misreading of Trump to assume that he’ll rely on foreign policy experts or anyone else other than the small circle of his family and trusted advisors, like Bannon. We know Trump doesn’t read. We know he has a short attention span for briefings. He has supreme confidence in his own intelligence, and little regard for experts. He makes decisions situationally, without a grand strategy. He got by that way in commercial real estate — with legions of bankruptcy attorneys and accountants to bail him out. I don’t think it’s going to work in a complex global world, but starting on Friday we’ll see.
Politico has an interesting commentary on Trump’s performance during the transition, by several of his longtime biographers. They see the same vain, insecure man, woefully out of his depth, that they’ve always seen — and they tell us that’s who we’re going to see for the four years of a Trump presidency. Trump lacks the self-awareness or introspection to realize that he’s exposing his profound inadequacies on the world stage, in plain view of all. As long as he has adulation from his core fans, he’s convinced he’s doing fine.
The rest of us are shaking are heads, and quaking in our boots at the damage he can and likely will cause.