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Brooks: Trump Went ‘From Dangerous to Fickle,’ ‘He’s Never Going to be a Deep Thinker’

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that President Trump’s first 100 days have been a failure in which Trump has changed “from being a populist to being a corporatist,” and “from dangerous to fickle,” and that “He’s never going to be a deep thinker.”

Brooks said, “No, it’s not a success. But I think what’s striking, he’s had the obvious failures, the healthcare and all the rest. I think what’s striking, and makes me remain curious about the next four years is, the change. I mean, it’s just rapid change. We’ve never seen a president change this much from being a populist to being a corporatist, from being the Bannon dark knight to shifting to putting pretty straight, at least people who are — putting a process around him. And so I’d say, there’s been some improvements. He’s never going to be a deep thinker. He’s never going to have an overall strategy, but the level of flexibility is–to me–actually one of the more striking, and maybe hopeful that he can learn from failure.”

He later added, “Listen, his first 100 days are not a success. This is not FDR we’re talking about here. It’s a failure. But I’m looking for opportunities for growth. It’s like when you have a student who gets an F, you go, oh, you got a D-minus. This is so much better. So, I’m looking on the bright side. If you go from dangerous to fickle, I think that’s a good move.”

Brooks concluded, “And so — and then the final thing I’ll say, I’m really struck by Bob Costa. Our colleague from ‘Washington Week’ did a great — with Ashley Parker, a great piece on his television watching habits. And he had this interview with AP where he talked about how hard it was to rip himself away from the habit of watching every single TV show about himself. And so you see a guy sort of transparently and naively struggling with maybe narcissism, but certainly the TV obsession. And the lack of attention span is what causes all this fickleness. Whoever saw him last gets the policy for the day. And will that settle down, or will we just sort of get a weather vane for the next four years? I don’t know. But I do think that the first 30 days was unsustainable. He was crashing every hour, and that’s calmed down a little.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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