Talk about low expectations.
President Trump leaves on his first real foreign policy trip abroad today, and apparently, people from both Trump’s camp, as well as foreign leaders are in a rush to try and work around Trump and his foibles.
Knowing Trump is led by his ego, foreign leaders are being told to praise him on his YUGE election win, for starters.
Also, don’t get offended if he doesn’t know anything about your country or issues that are crucial to the region. It’s pretty much expected that he’ll be a bumbling, stumbling clown, speaking in incoherent, incomplete sentences. Just grin and nod.
He has the attention span of a fruit fly, so don’t load him down with a lot of facts, at once. Have a lot of pretty pictures and charts for the few issues you gamble that he can manage.
Yes, these are actual themes running among world leaders who will be dealing with Trump this weekend.
I’m going to suggest they don’t let him get wet, and whatever they do, DO NOT feed him after midnight!
Ok, that last part may be a bit much, but even if the expectations for Trump’s performance are low, the expectations that the trip will flow from incompetent to embarrassing are actually pretty high.
“If you were prepping people for Donald Trump, the two or three points would be: one, bear in mind this is still a guy who focuses on wins,” Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to the United States, said. “He likes to have wins for America and wins for himself from bilateral meetings.”
“Secondly,” he continued, “he is a deal maker, a pragmatist. Third, this is a guy with a limited attention span. He absolutely won’t want to listen to visitors droning on for a half-hour — or longer if they need an interpreter.”
Of course, Trump has had dealings with foreign leaders since taking office. Most, however, have been on his territory and in his comfort zone.
Some are questioning how he’ll manage a long jaunt that keeps him from sleeping in his own bed, or even how he’ll manage the foreign food (There are instructions to have steak and ketchup on standby). He’s a 70-year old man, and very set in his ways.
The plan is to go from Saudi Arabia, to Israel, and to the Vatican, in Rome.
The long trip and being outside of his preferred surroundings will be a true test for just how prepared he is for four years of the same.