The City Club panel discussion: The First 100 Days
On Friday, January 20th, we went to the City Club for a panel discussion titled "The First 100 Days" which concerned what we could realistically expect from the beginnings of a Trump presidency. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Darrielle Snipes, WCPN reporter and producer, and featured Professor Robert Alexander, Ph.D., Chair, Department of History, Politics and Justice at Ohio Northern University; Mr. John R. Corlett, President and Executive Director of The Center for Community Solutions; and Ms. Cyndra Miller Cole, Assistant Lecturer at the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics of The University of Akron.
On this day, due to the fact that President-Elect Trump would take the oath of office at noon, the discussion took place at 11am and stopped just before noon so that all of us could watch President Trump's inaugural address together. We arrived at 10:30am so we would have time to eat and to network before the conversation began. Accordingly, we got to visit with such people as Professor Margery M. Koosed of the University of Akron School of Law who told us that Mr. Christopher Rivero, Legal Writer at Margaret W. Wong and Associates, was once a student of hers and Ms. Katie Scott who was escorting a group of students from the Hawken School. Ms. Scott told us that she teaches classes concerning U.S. Foreign Policy at Hawken and that Ms. Margaret W. Wong has been a guest there several times because the students just love her genuine, outspoken style.
Later in the day, we talked to Mr. Ted Diadiun, "Plain Dealer" columnist who is an old friend of Ms. Wong's and told us to say hello to her. We would also like to say that we spoke to a man named Jake who was once very involved with the City Club but hadn't come here too often in the last few years. He looked forward to once again attending the programs on a consistent basis and believed that the program on this day would be a good place to start.
At the beginning of the discussion, Ms. Snipes pointed out that no one accomplished more in the first 100 days of his U.S. Presidency than F.D.R. and it was highly doubtful that President Trump would accomplish as much because even though he holds majorities in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate (here a slight one) the majorities are not as overwhelming as F.D.R. had in 1933 and conditions in the country are not as desperate as they were in the depression. The panelists predicted that by use of Executive Order, though, he could very well establish an agenda (i.e. a path) for the next four years. The issue most discussed was the Affordable Care Act and it was pointed out that its popularity had increased since President Trump threatened to dump it and the ramifications of entirely ending in an abrupt fashion in the first 100 days are so dire that this probably wouldn't happen although we certainly can expect drastic changes in the long run.
Just as democrats will have to build productive coalitions to successfully challenge the Trump administration, President Trump himself must be able to unite people and build coalitions if he wants to successfully carry out his agenda. Along these lines, it was said that he must get a handle on his use of twitter because many of the statements he has tweeted are very provocative and contradictory.
As far as his inaugural address, itself, both it was predicted by the panelists that President Trump would say "I never let you down!" as he did in a speech the previous evening. To be sure, they believed that this was too "lofty" an expectation because historically even the most successful Presidents have not lived up to expectations at one time or another.
During the Q and A, we asked the panel about President Trump's immigration policy. We believe that it will not be easy to deport as many people as the President has proposed because even though the public is upset about the undocumented people residing in the U.S.; quite a bit of the time undocumented people are liked as individuals. It was said that President Trump will likely not try to address this issue via Executive Order but will, nevertheless, make it a priority in his first 100 days and will probably assign the formation of the details of the policy and certainly its implementation (which be very difficult by any standard) to Attorney General Sessions.
Soon it was time to watch the inaugural address. Our friend Mr. Teddy Eisenberg, City Club Content Coordinator, made a wise observation when he told us that the inaugural address was the first point where the President really has to show that he is no longer a candidate but the President of the United States. Whether or not, President Trump succeeded in doing this must be a matter of personal preference-some people we talked to liked his speech and others did not.
The predictions were right, however, President Trump did say "I will never let you down!" ....
...and everyone at the City Club was united in laughter and applause!!!
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.