Many Americans have waited with bated breath for a "presidential pivot" from Donald Trump. After 14 months in office the pivot is finally happening and it's the one we should have expected all along. No, the president hasn't given up his unpopular Twitter habit. No, he hasn't adjusted how he speaks about those with whom he disagrees. No, he hasn't stopped watching Fox & Friends and started reading detailed briefing papers on the issues his administration is working to address. President Trump is going all in on what got him to the White House, betting on himself and his instincts after spending his first year getting a feel for the job.
There was some thought after the election that then President-elect Donald Trump would grow into his new role, that the office would change him and force him to modify his more divisive qualities. That was always more unlikely than not, yet it was a hope that many who either didn't support him or did so reluctantly clung to. It became obvious fairly early on that the neophyte president would be unable or unwilling to modify his behavior. However, the general consensus was that he had experienced and knowledgeable "adults" around him who would be able to keep him in check to a certain degree. While there was certainly plenty of chaos and controversy along the way, the checks worked about as well as they could. The pivot towards a more conventional and traditional presidency never came close to happening.
What we've seen recently is the slow dismantling of that buffer and a return to the style this president is more comfortable with. Those who pushed back too hard on his ideas, couldn't cut it on TV and failed to develop a personal rapport are gone. They've been replaced by individuals viewed as more loyal, more capable in front of a camera and less likely to try to control the president's impulses. If he wants to tweet, he's going to tweet. If he wants to pick fights, he's going to pick fights. If he wants to do a rally in front of supporters off script, he'll do a rally in front of supporters off script. The agenda and message is whatever he determines it to be at any given moment, no matter the cost or consequences. This is peak Trump 24/7, with uncertainty and controversy all but guaranteed on a daily basis.
What we've witnessed over the first 14 months of this presidency is unlike anything we've ever seen before. What we're about to see will likely Trump that, pun intended.
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