One way to understand President Trump’s messy, reality-show confrontation with former campaign boss Steve Bannon is as a failure: a failure to properly vet key staff (Trump now says the man he put in charge of his campaign is literally insane), failure to control leaks, failure to control messaging as his advisers and confidants spoke at length with Michael Wolff, etc.
Another way to understand President Trump’s messy, reality-show confrontation with former campaign boss Steve Bannon is as a success: a success in transforming the presidency into a messy reality show, full of dramatic breakups, reversals, bitter recriminations . . . and not much else.
It isn’t the second year of the Trump presidency. It’s Trump: Season 2.
The recurring theme in Wolff’s book is that the people closest to Trump consider him neither capable of doing his job as president nor inclined to do it. That seems about right to me. As Trump’s former friends over at Breitbart know, there are less expensive options on the market if you need somebody to live-tweet Fox News, an activity that seems to take up a great deal of the president’s time.
Trump’s presidency increasingly takes on the character of a prank/PR stunt gone very wrong. It may very well be that at the end of Trump’s presidency we find ourselves asking not so much what kind of a president he was but whether he really was one at all.