President Trump is closing in his first 100 days in office, and everyone is seeking to assess the early progress of the country’s 45th president. Marvin Kalb, distinguished journalist and current senior fellow at Brookings, believes that “the learning curve has been very dramatically on the upside for this president.”
With the American Health Care Act failing to receive a vote on the House floor and tax plans and infrastructure bills yet to be completed, the president is set to finish this period without any major legislative accomplishments. Kalb is among the opinion that it is too early to judge President Trump, but he believes that the president is coming to realize that governing is much different than running a successful campaign.
“I think that Trump will, with each week and month that passes by, he’s gonna run up against the reality of governing,” Kalb said. “And he’s going to learn that in a campaign you measure success by the number of votes you get. In governing, you can only measure success on the basis of what you have achieved for the American people.”
Kalb, who oversaw “Meet the Press” during the part of the Reagan administration, believes that comparisons to Reagan are unjustifiable. This is due to the fact that Trump has never held elected office before this.
On last week’s “Meet the Press,” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said that he believes the situation in North Korea will prove to be the first “real test” of the Trump presidency. Kalb agrees, and says that the administration is doing a lot of talk regarding North Korea and Syria, but there is not a policy emerging from this.
In his visit to South Korea this week, Vice President Mike Pence said that “the era of strategic patience is over” in North Korea. Kalb sees North Korea and Syria, as well as Russian active measures, to be the most pressing matters facing our country today.
President Trump has been a frequent critic of the media, and for Kalb, someone who has spent the better part of 60 years in news, this is particularly concerning.
“If you want to curtail the freedom of the press, if you want to humiliate the press, if you want to emasculate the press, that may serve your immediate political interests, but you will hurt our democracy, and that is what I worry about,” Kalb said.