Quick Takes: Managing Trump

* My initial reaction is to want to avoid articles like the one in Politico today titled: “The Education of Donald Trump.” That’s because my response is always the same: they make me feel a little sick to my stomach. That is exactly what happened with this one. So if you’re like me, you might want to grab a little Pepto Bismol right about now.

As Trump is beginning to better understand the challenges—and the limits—of the presidency, his aides are understanding better how to manage perhaps the most improvisational and free-wheeling president in history. “If you’re an adviser to him, your job is to help him at the margins,” said one Trump confidante. “To talk him out of doing crazy things.”…

One key development: White House aides have figured out that it’s best not to present Trump with too many competing options when it comes to matters of policy or strategy. Instead, the way to win Trump over, they say, is to present him a single preferred course of action and then walk him through what the outcome could be – and especially how it will play in the press.

“You don’t walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t consume information that way,” said one senior administration official. “You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like.”

The whole description of how to manage this president is disturbing. But it is that last phrase that makes my stomach turn, because ultimately it’s all about Trump’s ego and how his actions play out in the media.

* The Republicans are aiming to pass a one-week stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this weekend, give them some more time to work on an agreement, and get past Trump’s 100 day mark. Democrats are making one demand that shouldn’t be that big of an obstacle.

House Democrats are threatening to oppose a short-term funding extension if Republicans plow ahead with a vote to repeal Obamacare this week…

Nevertheless, the president went on a twitter tirade today attacking Democrats with things like this:

Either he wants to work with them or he doesn’t. Tweets like that tend to signal the latter.

* The president is angry at the judges who are blocking his executive orders. So of course, he’s issuing threats.

President Donald Trump is threatening to break up the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which blocked his executive order banning travel from several nations with large Muslim populations and restricted the acceptance of refugees.

Asked by the Washington Examiner if he had considered proposals to split the court, Trump replied: “Absolutely, I have.”

“There are many people that want to break up the 9th Circuit. It’s outrageous,” Trump told the website.

* I don’t know that it is ever a good idea to not take a POTUS seriously, but perhaps some Mexicans are figuring out the bluster/surrender pattern.

“It seems like he’s sitting at a poker table bluffing rather than making serious decisions,” said Senator Armando Ríos Piter, a Mexican legislator. “In front of a bluffer, you always have to maintain a firm and dignified position.”

* Finally, even the Simpsons are getting in on the “100 days of Trump” theme.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.