Our Q&A, light editing below.
What happens if you lose?
Why we wait a few months to inaugurate a president and how Trump came to be
CNN: We will hold the presidential election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. However, the new president will not take office until January. What is the reason for this gap and is it still necessary?
Kab: The reason for this gap is the peaceful transfer of power and it is absolutely necessary. Probably more so now than ever before.
I interviewed more than two dozen people who worked for Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and on both sides I was told that they had a good transition that was important at a time when the country was going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. . Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff, Jackie Norris, told me that she would “never forget the intense camaraderie and loyalty of the first female members to each other.” The same was true of the West Wing.
The dangerous situation is that Trump’s campaign is moving towards transformation. Part of it must be because some of his campaign team did not even take the time to make an acceptable statement. They think they will win.
Trump won the election in part because he said he would “throw away the water,” but the federal government has a primary obligation that he be better equipped to run if he had some institutional knowledge (just the opposite, Joe Biden). And it takes time which means it takes months to make an appointment and learn how things work.
I wrote in my “Team of Five” book that Obama aides were asked to draft rough “how” manuals on how their offices would be run, with small details like voicemail passwords.
From the book:
But Obama’s aides had no one to hand out their carefully revised briefing books.
Career Government employees waited across the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and all the broad bureaucracies. They wanted direction – they wanted to know who their new bosses were and how they would change jobs in Trump’s presidency – but they got nothing. In fact, some high-ranking employees waited and waited until after a few weeks of silence, they assumed they were no longer employed, and furnished their offices.
How could Trump go out
CNN: Looking at Trump’s first term, what should we look for in a post-defeat transition?
CNN: The United States is known for handing over power peacefully. Is there any precedent for a lost president or his administration to run out of doors?
KAB: Historically there have certainly been some bitter defeats (see John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) but in modern times both sides have used their ability to hand over power peacefully. During the 2008 campaign, Bush arranged for National Intelligence Director John Michael McConnell to receive a report on Obama and his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, on thirty important national security issues. Once in the last two months of the 2008 campaign, Obama and McCain sat at the same table in the Roosevelt Room, with Bush sitting between them, as they discussed congressional approval of $ 700 billion that could save the ailing market.
Bush and Obama had real respect for each other. “President Bush understood that rescuing our economy was not just a democratic or Republican issue, it was an American priority. I will always be grateful for that,” Obama said during the May 2012 unveiling of the official portraits of George W. and Laura Bush at the White House. Discuss the opposite because the House did not invite President Obama to his portrait unveiling ceremony.
Trump is unlikely to refuse to go anyway
CNN: Just like Trump is not a person who goes silent. What kind of work can he do if he wants to throw a cog in the government machine?
Kab: He may refuse to leave, but I don’t see that happening. As discussed on the left, Bill Maher is significant, so it’s something people think. It’s hard for me to imagine
Trump sat on the steps of the Capitol with millions of spectators cheering for his departure.
Former presidents have traditionally praised each other even after resigning after being ousted from power. After Ronald Reagan spoke at the opening of Jimmy Carter’s library, Carter said, “I understand more clearly now than before why you won.”
Jimmy Carter apologized to George W. Bush during the Bush Bus Library dedication, especially for his outspoken criticism of the Iraq war. “Oh, Hush,” Bush replied. Can you imagine what is happening to Trump and who will make him successful, whenever it happens?
What will happen if he wins?
Encourage to be encouraged
CNN: No president has been cursed, acquitted or re-elected. You can imagine that if he won, Trump would feel more excited than anyone else in history. How will Trump deal with the office in his second term as the final winner?
Kab: I think he will take whatever action he wants to feel. When I interviewed him for my book, shortly after the publication of the fair report, he felt that he had been deported. He was furious and eager to talk about how he felt he had done more than any other president in history. So I can only imagine his reaction to being re-elected after being charged. He manages to spend some of his time just remembering his supporters and if he is re-elected that proves the immense power of his constituents. I think he will be more critical of journalists and the so-called “deep state” than he is today. It wouldn’t be a good scene.
There is no historical record of Trump
CNN: Is there any other president who was unpopular in the White House and then unpopular with re-election? Is there another two-term president as divisive as Trump?
Cub: I think George W. Bush was incredibly divisive, but not at this stage. His approval rating has risen since he left office. And like Trump, he was elected without a popular vote. Bush has followed his father’s lead and is in most places. He has raised his approval ratings further because absence makes the heart more beautiful. I can’t think of being on Trump’s side.
Unpopular president and second term
CNN: What can we learn from the second term of presidents who were not very popular during the re-election and won against expectations (I’m thinking of Harry Truman or Richard Nixon here)?
KAB: If you look at Nixon and Watergate, winning by a narrow margin makes him even more embarrassed and irrational and leads to his resignation. This example does not burn well.
Trump and his GOP successor
CNN: We’re deep in speculation here, but I’m wondering how Trump would deal with Mike Pence, who was a loyal soldier this first term, if he won. It’s hard to imagine Trump’s reality show handing out sticks to someone just like Pence with sensitive people, who are undoubtedly the glory of Trump’s drama as the next logical GOP nominee. What does history tell us?
Cub: Trump is not only loyal to the people because they are loyal to him. I think if re-elected he would do well with Mike Pence because logically Pence helped him persuade evangelical voters to stay with him. But I don’t think loyalty will last long and in 2024 Pence should be able to support Trump someone else. If it does not benefit in any way, it will not translate into long-term support.