Each morning, Trump begins his day looking in the mirror seeing a man of importance, power and great wealth. It is an image he cherishes. Woe betide those who might challenge that image. He is, in his view, simply fabulous. Unmatched in street smarts and education. And in case you doubt, he repeatedly reminds you just how smart he is.
Trump’s image is everything to him. The only way he could lose the election would be if it was “rigged.” The only way Hillary could win more votes is if there was fraud. Just weeks into his presidency Trump sees himself on Mount Rushmore. He is, in his view, already one of America’s great presidents.
Should there be any failures in his White House (Michael Flynn comes to mind), it will certainly not be his fault. He will have been decisive. Trump will take credit for directly firing Flynn whether he did or not.
And Trump will continue to do all he can to build his family’s wealth. He has no choice. He can’t look in the mirror and not see someone who is fabulously rich. For him, the measure of success is not merely holding one the most powerful offices on earth - he must remain executive producer of Celebrity Apprentice.
Trump demands total control of his public image.
That teenager may disagree.
Somewhere, there is a teenager who is just now becoming fascinated with American politics. This teenager is reading history, studying past presidents, and curious about the current one. Over time, this teenager’s interest will grow. College will broaden that interest. Perhaps a graduate degree in American history. Authors like Robert Caro and David McCullough, Douglas Brinkley and Richard Neustadt may inspire.
And sometime, perhaps toward the middle of the 21st Century, this teenager, now middle-aged, will have completed the first successful biography of President Donald J. Trump. It will be written with the passage of time. The ferocity of the moment will have passed.
While the early signs of Trump’s presidency suggest history will not look favorably upon him, the fact is at this point we still do not know. And neither does Trump.
This may be the thing that will scare Trump more than anything. One morning, standing in front of that mirror, he may realize that after decades of creating a public image, he has left it in the hands of others he will not be able to control.