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A Tale of Two Trumps (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) January 13, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds.
Abraham Lincoln appointed three men who competed against him for the presidency to his cabinet, creating a talented and now famous “team of rivals.”  Donald Trump’s cabinet has its own unusual flavor, creating a kind of dual presidency.

 On one hand, Donald Trump himself and appointees like businessman Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State represent a pragmatic “get things done” approach to government.  On the other hand, the appointment of several traditional conservatives to posts at Energy, the Environment and the Office of Management and Budget signal a shrinking of the federal role.

All this represents a dualism in Trump himself.  On one hand, he is a pragmatic businessman lacking a strong political philosophy.  On the other, he ran as a Republican, chose traditional conservative Mike Pence as his vice president, and stocked his cabinet with several conservatives.

Which Trump will win out?  I think on economic matters, Trump will be pro-growth, but on social and other matters, the role of the federal government, if not its size, will shrink.


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