One year on – still Trump first

In October of last year, I wrote a blog entitled ‘What can Donald Trump teach us about speechmaking?’ Clearly, very little. At the time, Trump was languishing in the polls and reeling (a bit) from the leak of the tapes we all unfortunately all had to hear and many didn’t expect him to win.

It’s been a year since the new Trump era began, a year filled with so many drop-jaw moments that it would require a Forbes 100 style list to accommodate them all. So, one year on, what have we learnt about Donald Trump as president?

1) It wasn’t an act
Some pundits predicted ‘showman’ Trump would become more businesslike with power. Nope, that hasn’t really happened… Neither has he stopped boasting, blaming or being outrageous on Twitter. Unfortunately for America, the Trump it has got seems to be the one who came to their attention as the reality TV boss on The Apprentice. Trump has achieved the unthinkable – making George W Bush seem like a wizened statesman in comparison.

2) Business and politics don’t mix
It was widely predicted that things could get messy for the business impresario, who came into politics dragging a whole load of business baggage behind him, and so this has come to pass. In business, Trump had a reputation for fighting fire with fire. He has transferred this to politics, giving us such bizarre realities as the President of the USA referring to another world leader as ‘Little Rocket Man’ via a Twitter feed (even if it is Kim Jong-un). Still, the stock market is roaring…

3) It’s hard being the First Lady
Melania Trump has never looked comfortable in this role. We’ve had all the ‘awkward’ relationship tags, the Stepford Wife talk and the body double conspiracy and one can’t help but gaze upon Melania without the phrase ‘long suffering’ coming to mind. Unlike previous presidents, Donald Trump has been unable to harness (or maybe just acknowledge) the power of the First Couple. It’s all about The Donald for Trump, and while he rushes in to seal the deal at every occasion, Melania is frequently left in his wake or simply waiting for an introduction.

However, it is Melania who emerges from this first year as the most popular Trump in the White House bloc. Thankfully, for all us viewers of The Trump Show, this has been illustrated with moments of pure beauty such as a very public snub of the President, in favour of Melania, by Polish first lady, Agata Kornhauser-Duda.

4) It’s the world stage stupid!
A year on, one still often wonders whether Trump has actually grasped the reality of the position he now holds. His monologues on world issues have managed to alienate allies as well as enemies, while time woven diplomatic threads have been unraveled in an instant with 140 character barbs on social media. Unlike Obama, this President is not going to walk away with a Nobel Prize although no doubt he will argue that he deserves one, and blame Crooked Hillary for not getting it!

So this is the presidency after one year – the unthinkable has become normal and we continue to be addicted to the Trump Show. Only another 3 to go, although some pundits are already considering the unthinkable of another 7…

Luan de Burgh

November 2017

Luan de Burgh is a speaker, writer and founder of de Burgh Training – a specialist business communication training provider dedicated to helping people perform at their highest potential.