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Boomers Know New Presidents Face Learning Curve

Boomers Know New Presidents Face Learning Curve

(Rick Bowmer/AP)

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 10:48 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Baby boomers, the Trump administration has started.

Reports have surfaced that the Trump administration is like no other.

I wonder how many of you recall how the past administrations began. As baby boomers, we are unique. We have seen so much, and have yet so much more to witness.

Some baby boomers can recall the Dwight D. Eisenhower years.

The vast majority of baby boomers can identify with the beginning of the John F. Kennedy administration. Some of the later baby boomers may be thinking about Lyndon B. Johnson, or Richard M. Nixon.

There are three common threads to the beginning of those presidential administrations that are also similar to what we are seeing now with the Trump administration.

The first is that with every incoming administration there is a learning curve.

It has been said that Kennedy was in fact slow to get his new team in place.

While the staff around the president was set from the campaign of 1960, other spots in the administration were slow to take shape.

President Kennedy even kept some members of the Eisenhower administration, causing a degree of uncertainty. Apparently new presidential teams generally need some time to get their sea legs.

Secondly, there are the confirmation hearings where you have the constant dance with the opposition party while trying put the Cabinet in place. The Jimmy Carter administration, having run as outsiders, essentially brought a team with them from Georgia.

This approach made for some uncomfortable moments — even within Carter’s own party.

President Carter and former U.S. House Speaker Tip O'Neill never seemed to get on the same page, which made it hard for Carter to effectively run the government.

By contrast, President Nixon's team was comfortable from the beginning. However, their insular nature made them suspicious of everyone who was not a part of their inner circle.

The third aspect of interest is that as each new administration has the opportunity to establish its own relationship with the press.

President Kennedy courted the press. The press in turn loved his every comment.

A book, "Kennedy Wit," was written detailing the press conferences that Kennedy held.

President Nixon seemed to always be the opposite of Kennedy. Their differences were first seen in 1960 when they opposed each other for the presidential election of that year.

The Nixon White House was diametrically opposed to the Kennedy White House.

We tend to think when a new presidential regime takes shape that we are seeing everything for the first time. From a baby boomer's prism, we understand everything that is old is new again.

This is a column for baby boomers written by someone who is a boomer himself; written with no political positions taken.

This is, rather, to be an objective commentary for readers, most of whom are baby boomers.

That is why I can say, the Trump administration needs to take shape.

We need to let it take its course of action in due time. As we know, we've seen this movie before.

Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now

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We tend to think when a new presidential regime takes shape that we are seeing everything for the first time. From a baby boomer's prism, we understand everything that is old is new again. The Trump administration needs to take shape. As we know, we've seen this movie before.
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Thursday, 02 February 2017 10:48 AM
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