The Trump Charm Offensive

by Kerry Lutz
Financial Survival Network

The Trump Asian charm offensive. Yes for those Never Trumpers, it’s hard to admit, but there is a charming side to our commander in chief. His recent overseas Asian trip was proof that it not only exists, but it’s very effective. He seems to have taken Asia by storm. Remember, it was not long ago that the Chinese refused to roll out the stairs, let alone the red carpet, forcing Obama to do a humiliating exit from the belly of Air Force One. And now, just a few short years later, Trump is exiting from the stairs to a red carpet reception. And his Chinese nicknames, “Donald the Strong”, “Grand Commander Uncle Trump“ and others. I don’t remember the Chinese referring to “Barrack the Invincible”.

Believe it or not, there is a charming side to Trump. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting our current president, in the year 2000. At that time I was practicing law and recently had a celebrity case appear on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The next day, upon arriving at my office I was greeted by a message from Donald Trump. He said, “You know I own casinos and I’ve got some cases I would love for you to take a look at. Here’s my number…” I waited several hours before I called him back. He invited my partner and I up to his office to check us out.

We arrived at the Trump Tower and were promptly escorted into his office. I was wearing relaxed business casual, sport jacket, nice slacks, and a cashmere sweater. My partner, a bit of a military nut, wore battle fatigues, army boots and an Army Ranger’s cap. As we entered Trump’s office, he was slouched back behind his desk speaking on the phone. A few of his yes-men were present. He looked us up and down about five times and said to the person on the phone, “I’ve got someone in my office here who doesn’t look very nice.” We then introduced ourselves and the Donald said, “Are you sure you guys are lawyers? You don’t look like any lawyers I’ve ever seen.” We burst out hysterical laughing and from that moment on the bond was formed.

We wound up spending about two hours with Trump. If you had told me then that he would one day be the President of the United States, I would’ve recommended you to an excellent psychiatrist specializing in electroshock therapy. But there we were. And honestly, before I walked into his office I had the opinion of him, as do many, that he was basically an a – hole. Everything that I’d seen about him on TV and the media tended to reinforce that view. And yet, here he was in the flesh talking about a variety of things and he was extremely funny. He was very profane as well, but intelligent, with a steel-trap mind that immediately honed in on the important facts. And it was just a fun time; we didn’t stop laughing until we left.

Finally, he had another appointment so he threw us out of the office. I told my partner David, “We’re not gonna make any money off of Trump, but we are going to have stories for a lifetime.” Little did I know. And here we are nearly 20 years later, Trump is president and I am still telling this story. And I laugh as much now, as I did when it happened. I was very prepared to not like Trump, or at the very least be indifferent to him. For some reason, he wanted to win us over and he went on a major charm offensive to do so. Even though in the scheme of things, we were very minor players.

So is it any wonder that the leaders of Asia are dumbfounded and in a major bromance with Trump? The people of China are completely fascinated with him. They are attracted to people who are successful, effective and major leaders. Love him or hate him, Trump falls into that category; he is a leader.

Much of the country’s dissatisfaction over its prior presidents, Obama, Bush 43, Clinton and Bush 41, is what the military refers to as management without leadership. Everyone has had a boss who threw their weight around and telling people what to do but failing to lead the way. This is the problem that the United States has encountered since Ronald Reagan left office. A failure of leadership.

Leaders are often unpopular. Leaders often have personality quirks and eccentricities that many find strange. Let’s not get into Trump’s appearance, but his personality and the manner in which he speaks is enough to drive even the most grounded progressive liberal collectivists off a cliff. He is not a conventional politician. His twitter rants are epic. He doesn’t care what people think about him. Or at least he doesn’t project an air of caring, that is until he punches back in a twitter rant that leaves his opponent bloodied and reeling.

So the takeaway is that when Trump wants to be a charmer, he is fully capable of doing so. He did in Asia and he will continue to charm as the need arises. Of course all of this charm will fall upon deaf ears for the Never Trumpers. But that’s just the way personality disorders manifest themselves.


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