‘He’s a Performance Artist Pretending to be a Great Manager’

My Comments: I really want 45 to be successful. The health and welfare of my children and grandchildren depend on it. And I really don’t want the never ending distraction now caused by, first, his apparent incompetence and secondly, by the constitutional crisis that will result if he fails.

I find him intellectually lazy. Yes, he is smart and knows how to tell a story to help people grasp what he is attempting to say. He probably has the skill sets necessary to run a successful business empire, or at least one that appears successful on the surface.

But 45 appears unwilling to apply the necessary intellectual curiosity to prepare himself for decisions that need to be made by a President of the United States. The orders he has signed coupled with the results so far suggest they were made emotionally and not from any careful evaluation of how they might achieve the desired outcome. I suspect the Yemen raid that went wrong happened because he simply wanted to kick some ass, and not because he carefully evaluated the pros and cons. That would require a mental effort that he seems unable to master.

His need to take the weekend off at the end of every five days in Washington further supports my concern about his lack of intellectual vigor. He might have the necessary skill sets to run a successful real estate empire, but the skill sets required to assure the future health and welfare of my children and grandchildren seems to be lacking. Big time.

By Michael Kruse  /  Feb 27, 2017

More than 27 years before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Bruce Nobles, then the president of the Trump Shuttle airline, assessed with some befuddlement the business and managerial practices of his boss. Nobles had climbed a conventional corporate ladder at American, Continental and Pan Am, companies with org charts any MBA would recognize. The Trump Organization, on the other hand, was smaller, looser and much more freewheeling, and working for Trump, Nobles discovered, was a markedly different experience.

“It surprised me how much of a family-type operation it was, instead of a business kind of orientation where there is a structure and there is a chain of command and there is delegation of authority and responsibility,” Nobles told a reporter from Newsday in the fall of 1989. “As the organization gets bigger, and it seems to be getting bigger all the time, he’ll have to do a better job of actually managing the place as opposed to making deals.”

Mere months into Trump’s time as the owner of an airline—the purchase was finalized that June—Nobles already had concerns. Trump had overpaid with more than $400 million of borrowed money, he seemed most interested in cosmetic touches like the size of the “T” on the tails of the planes, and the debt service quickly became crippling. Once, Trump suggested cutting costs by flying with two pilots, not three, and Nobles had to tell him that would be illegal.

Trump’s appetite was greater than his ability to manage what he had acquired. Last week on the phone, as Trump passed the one-month mark in the White House and prepared for tonight’s speech before a joint session of Congress, Nobles told me that what he sees now is what he saw then. “His behavior to date,” he said, “is consistent with the behavior I saw 30 years ago.”