During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. [...]After meeting with Mr. Trump, the only person to be elected president without having held a government or military position, Mr. Obama realized the Republican needs more guidance. He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said.
On Thursday, just two days after the election, Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, toured the West Wing. Kushner, who has a business background, has been a key adviser to Trump, but he has no meaningful experience in politics or government.And so it perhaps shouldn't have come as too big of a surprise when Kushner, during his White House tour, asked how many West Wing staffers would remain in their jobs after the new administration took over. The answer, of course, is practically zero: Trump will need his own team.The trouble is, Kushner isn't the only one on Team Trump who's completely unaware of such things. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the president-elect is ignorant, too.
Note that when Obama and Trump spoke briefly to reporters on Thursday, the Republican president-elect turned to the incumbent and said, "I look forward to being with you many, many more times."Left unsaid: "I'm starting to worry that I have no idea what I'm doing, so please help me."The New York Times reported over the weekend, meanwhile, that Trump "talking with his advisers about how many nights a week he will spend in the White House." He apparently hopes to maintain parts of his routine, which means spending time in New York, not D.C."The questions reflect what Mr. Trump's advisers described as the president-elect's coming to grips with the fact that his life is about to change radically," the article added. "They say that Mr. Trump, who was shocked when he won the election, might spend most of the week in Washington, much like members of Congress, and return to Trump Tower or his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., or his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach on weekends."Do you ever get the feeling the presidency is going to make Donald Trump kind of miserable? Like he applied for a job he knew very little about, never read the job description, and isn't quite sure what to do now that he has it?Over the summer, the New York Times noted that Donald Trump Jr. reached out to Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) to gauge his interest in the GOP ticket. Kasich was reportedly told that in the next White House, the Republican vice president would be in charge of both domestic and foreign policy -- so that Trump could focus on big-picture goals such as making America "great."A couple of months earlier, Trump's then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, said there were parts of the presidency Trump "doesn't want to do." He added that Trump "sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO."As we discussed at the time, it seemed relatively clear Trump wanted to win the election, but he's never demonstrated any real interest in rolling up his own sleeves and doing actual, mundane, unglamorous work.And six days after his election victory, the result seems to be a series of questions Trump should've known the answer to in advance. Do I really have to hire a West Wing staff? Do I really have to sleep in the White House all the time? Do I really have to maintain such a busy schedule? Does the scope of the president's powers really have to be such a burden?Donald Trump likes to tweet. He likes to bathe in his followers' adulation at big rallies. He likes to watch TV and complain about news coverage he finds unflattering. He likes to sleep in his own bed -- in a penthouse within a building emblazoned with his name in big, gold letters.He doesn't like to do what presidents do.If recent protests are any indication, it's a safe bet millions of Americans are not going to enjoy the next four years. If it's any consolation to Trump's critics, he's probably not going to enjoy them, either.