Now that President Trump has accumulated billions of dollars in his business career and beaten 18 more experienced candidates to become Commander-in-Chief, he has begun to coast, according to a news story Monday on Politico.
The “notion of Executive Time, and the president’s increasingly late start to the day, has come under scrutiny over the past year,” wrote Eliana Johnson and Daniel Lippman of Politico.
The story, headlined “9 hours of ‘Executive Time’: Trump’s unstructured days define his presidency,” covers a new batch of presidential schedules.
The schedules offer “fresh insight into the extent to which that unscheduled time dominates Trump’s week and his shaping his presidency,” Politico reported.
Past presidents “were disciplined in their scheduled time, squired from meeting to meeting, event to event, from the moment they arrived in the Oval Office until they headed up to the residence at night.”
Trump is not squired anywhere, his aides have said.
“Trump, by contrast, enjoys huge blocks of unscheduled time in which he can do as he pleases.”
Yes, other presidents kept to their own schedules – Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were known to make middle-of-the-night calls, George W. Bush was an early bird and Barack Obama a night owl.
“But even Trump allies who say the president is always working concede that the Trump presidency is uniquely defined by his down time when his short-term bugaboos become the drivers of his agenda, rather than any long-term vision.”
The story pointed to Tuesday, Oct. 23, as a particularly lazy day for Trump.
“In the midst of a potential serial bomber and two weeks ahead of the midterm elections,” Trump did not have an official event until 1 p.m.
He had “about three times as much free time planned for last Tuesday as work time” and had nine hours in all of ‘Executive Time,’ a euphemism for the unstructured time Trump spends tweeting, phoning friends and watching television. Official meetings, policy briefings and public appearances – typically the daily work of being president – consumed barely more than three hours of his day.”
It is unclear what he was supposed to be doing about the serial bomber during the day aside from letting law enforcement do its work.
As for the midterms, Trump spent much of that day flying to Houston to speak at a rally before nearly 20,000 people crammed into the Toyota Center and tens of thousands more outside on screens. He also sent out two congressional endorsements, including one for Jay Webber, a House candidate in New Jersey, at 6:53 a.m.
By 4:52 a.m. the next morning, Trump was at it again with a tweet about immigration policy in Europe.
By 7:43 p.m., he tweeted a positive message about Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican candidate for governor, vowed Republicans would protect those with pre-existing conditions but Democrats wouldn’t, tweeted “I agree wholeheartedly” with Vice President Mike Pence’s tweet condemning the suspicious packages sent to President Obama, the Clintons, CNN and others, been briefed on the attacks by the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service and traveled to Wisconsin and delivered a more-than-1-hour speech at a rally there.
By 3:54 a.m. the following morning, he had read and reacted to a story in the New York Times about his cell phone usage perhaps exposing his communications to hostile nations.
Politico reported that some of Trump’s friends refer to him as a workaholic and that obviously a lot of the Executive Time was devoted to contacting other leaders and conducting presidential business.