As Donald Trump took the oath of office this past Friday at noon, the first chapters of his presidential history were already being written. His successful, yet, seemingly seat-of-the-pants style of campaigning will make for some rich history. He lost the popular vote with the widest spread in American history having lost to Hillary Clinton by almost three million votes; making his election a far from unifying event. Trump will be the only President in history who has never held public office or a military position before he assumes the presidency. And when it comes to his ticket with Mike Pence, it is the least experienced ticket when it comes to national security in at least a century. For many that is an ominous fact, for others it was part of the appeal of Trump being a political outsider.
In the days before Trump took the oath, his favorability numbers were the lowest ever recorded for a President-elect. He arrived in office this past weekend with the burden of being under active investigations by the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies over his election campaign’s possible dealings with Russia. Also, as Trump was sworn in, he had an unprecedented 75 active lawsuits against him and business deals he conducted. That number does not include the lawsuit filed last week against him dealing with sexual misconduct and defamation.
On that last ugly fact, America has been down that road in the relatively recent past with Bill Clinton. There were sexual misconduct rumors hounding his first campaign in 1992. Different woman and alleged witnesses paraded out in front of the media cameras. At the time all the allegations were dismissed as dirty smear campaign politics. But as we all now know, his sexual improprieties came back with a vengeance. That chapter was an absolute headache for the country, even without Clinton’s lying and impeachment proceedings.
The other facts above are either new or their degree is new for American historians. It is impossible to look into the future and know what kind of presidency Donald Trump will have. Presidencies are changed as much by events as they are the man. But the facts mentioned above do not bode the best for Trump’s political capital. Later, when the fight really gets tough for him in implementing his agendas and policies, every ounce of political capital will count. There will come a time in the next four years when Trump will wish he had more political capital coming into office.
Trump’s presidency is now off and running, and as the Spanish proverb goes, “Traveler, there are no roads. Roads are made by walking.”