Trump follows Obama’s political blueprint
Nobody wants to admit it, but the new president's early moves look at lot like the old president's. By BLAKE HOUNSHELL and DANIEL LIPPMAN
I’ll protect your livelihoods, the newly elected president promised factory employees whose jobs were in danger.
I’ll save you money by rejecting a costly overhaul of my own aircraft, he told taxpayers a couple of weeks later.
I’ll spend billions to repair the country’s crumbling roads and bridges, creating jobs in the process, he told Congress.
I’ll sell my agenda by using the bully pulpit, he told the press, holding rallies around the country and shaming corporate greed that comes at the expense of ordinary people. And to do it all, he would set up a new political organization to pressure anyone who refused to play along.
His opponents were horrified, and said he was abusing the power of the Oval Office.
The year was 2009. The new president was Barack Obama.
Flash forward to today: Donald Trump is following much the same political blueprint his predecessor and longtime adversary laid out years ago, signaling he’ll actively intervene in the U.S. economy while antagonizing free-marketeers who say his meddling will end in disaster. It’s a funhouse-mirror version of Obama’s early image of the presidency — the man of action for down-and-out Americans who desperately want to see that somebody is on their side.
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