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How Will Trump Compare to Past Presidents?

“How will Trump compare to past presidents?” That’s the title of the latest episode of Disrupting the Global Order with Janice Stein podcast. Our own Walter Russell Mead was Prof. Stein’s guest, and they talked about how to put the coming presidency of Donald Trump in historical context. You can listen to their 27-minute conservation on iTunes, or on Google Play. Or you can just listen to it right here:


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  • Andrew Allison

    A more interesting, albeit depressing, topic would be how the outgoing President (who’s performance is evident rather than hypothetical, compares to past Presidents.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Obama will likely be seen by real historians as the lull between two storms.

      • Tom

        Kind of like how Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan are seen as the guys between the Mexican-American and American Civil Wars.
        The fact that they helped set up the latter is often forgotten.

        • FriendlyGoat

          No need to start now blaming Obama for the as-yet-unidentified crisis on Trump’s watch.
          Donald is inheriting stability in a world where stability is hard to find. He has committed himself to making America great and is now setting about to rattle stability on several different fronts. If he blows up the garage playing with a chemistry set, we won’t buy the idea that the garage was faulty.

          • Genesis123

            Stability??? Are you not aware of what is going on in the Middle East? OMG, you really are stupidly partisan. Even the Democrats who want to be taken seriously admit that the world has gotten a LOT more dangerous under Lightbringer, Personal Lord and Savior, the Messiah Abu Hussein.
            Speaking of Abu Hussein, he helped Iran import some more uranium. Is that part of him bringing stability?

          • Boritz

            The blame should start yesterday and continue hourly. Flood the zone. This is not how conservatives traditionally think but we’ve been taking notes.

          • Tom

            (Starts laughing uncontrollably)

          • Genesis123

            I may disagree with Comrade FriendlyGoat on a number of topics, but even I’m forced to admit that the stuff he smokes is of marvelous quality. We don’t have that in New Jersey.

          • ——————————

            Perhaps he lives in Colorado….

          • Genesis123

            I wrote a post where I made fun of Abu Hussein moronic fanboys such as yourself saying really stupid things about the Lightbrinber’s legacy. Look at the Middle East. Look at him not informing Congress that he is allowing importation of uranium that Russia got via Clinton Foundation to Iran. Doesn’t seem like supporting someone who provides nuclear weapons to genocidal cutthroats is very, what is that word again…. Christian of you?

      • Eurydice

        To continue with that metaphor, the lull is when new pressures are building.

      • Anthony

        I read your Good Samaritan comment and it made me re-read 1st Timothy.

    • Disappeared4x

      The speculation about Trump’s presidency could wait until after his first 100 minutes. As for the ItIsNeverOver President? He makes Andrew Johnson look good. At least that Johnson got a good deal with Alaska.

  • Old Gunny

    Walter Russell Mead may be a truely great mind, but he has no idea how Trump will compare to past, present or future presidents. Anyone else who thinks they know what Trump will do is kidding themselves.

  • Eurydice

    Wow, and people say it’s Millenials who want instant gratification.

  • Beauceron

    Did I miss something? Has Trump even taken office yet?

    Maybe, just maybe, it’s a bit too early to compare how he’ll be as president with those who have served their time in office just yet. I mean, I doubt he’ll win the Nobel Peace prize when he hasn’t even been in office 10 months or anything, but still.

  • Kevin

    A worthwhile podcast to actually listen to.

    However, I think the title of the article does a real disservice to the content of the podcast, making it seem more sensationalistic and less substantive than it really is. WRM’s points about the Liberal World Order and EU’s problems are well made. His insight on the intillegence services’ rivalries is worth remembering. His take on Tillerson, relations with Russia and speculation how he sees Trump balancing cordial relations with Moscow while boosting North American energy production which will undermine Moscow’s power over the longer run is insightful.

  • GS

    Well, when Donald J. Trump becomes a past president (or at least well into his term of office), then there would be the proper time to discuss this question. Till that time it is a total masturbation (fruitless, boring, exhausting, and gives a perverted kind of pleasure only to those immediately involved and to nobody else – everything checks). Let him accumulate a record in office first, and then judge him on that record.

  • The issue is that while many people today idolize him, and perhaps understandably so, we have yet to really see what his actual policy, both domestic and foreign, will be like.

    He has made some comments on Obamacare, for example, that are sympathetic, he has spoken supportively of gay marriage (while his running-mate has voiced opposition), and his plans for the Middle East and China are not so clear at present. Most people don’t even know that he was a registered Democrat himself for many years:

    I suppose that all we can really do is wait and see for what is to come.

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