For a seemingly long time, Donald Trump did not want Paul Ryan to chair the Republican National Convention and was quite vocal about it. Then, when Ryan says he is fine with that, Trump says he really would like Paul Ryan to be the Chairman. It is difficult to keep up with Trump and his public statements.
Of course, when Ryan said he had some issues with Trump’s candidacy because he didn’t know what Trump thought about things, Trump seemed to be offended that Ryan hadn’t gotten into lock-step with Trump.
It is difficult to understand where Trump is at on various subjects because his mind seems to change fairly often. It is almost as if the new “shiny object” is the direction for the day or week. When Ryan said he was fine with relinquishing the Chair for the Republican’s National Convention, suddenly Trump wanted him as the Chair.
If this is the way Trump will act when he sits in the Oval Office, obviously assuming that he might well have that opportunity, the world’s leaders will find themselves wondering what his real position is on various topics. That might be seen by some as a valuable ploy, but it can also be seen as the product of Trump’s inability to stay dialed in on multiple topics for extended periods of time.
Imagine if Israel cannot count on Trump’s open support from one month to the next. Imagine how Putin will try to capitalize on this seeming inconsistent behavior in his dealings with our allies as well as those who are not allies.
Maybe Trump is able to maintain focus on many subjects for extended periods of time, but he is not showing signs that this is a strong suit of his. If we look back at Trump’s campaign and count the many times he has raised issues, such as building a wall, those issues tend to lose their excitement for him and he moves on to the next pronouncement. Maybe he has so many great ideas that it is impossible for him to line each up in its relative rank of importance and deal with each at its appointed time.
It would be good for our country if Donald Trump has come to understand the importance of a solid relationship with Paul Ryan. Each has the ability to be of help to the other in terms of getting things done that need getting done. Similarly, if these two cannot seem to get on the same page at the same time, something less than what would’ve been possible will get accomplished. Trump will not be able to flit from one pretty flower to the next and expect that Congress will be able to keep up with him; not only can it not keep up that pace, but it most certainly will not keep up that pace.
If Donald Trump is elected, it would be great if he and Paul Ryan could sit down and map out the high-level areas needing Congress’ attention in the sequence they need attention if Trump’s agenda is to be accomplished.
We will not know if Trump has the ability to rein himself in to deal with those kinds of black and white sequential time frames until he has been sworn in and has taken his seat in the Oval Office. Think of all the neat new “shiny objects” there’ll be then. I suspect that the Vegas odds-makers would rate the chance for disciplined focus as quite uncertain.
If that is the way he’ll govern, not much will get done, and we can be pretty sure that will be somebody else’s fault whether that is true or not.