The Cable

Trump’s Strategic Braintrust Sounds Sort of Obama-Friendly and Centrist

Trump just announced a strategic forum that seems oddly supportive of Obama's policies.


On Friday, Team Trump took a timeout from having animated phone calls with authoritarian leaders to announce the establishment of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which “will be called upon to meet with the President frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the President implements his plan to bring back jobs and Make America Great Again.”

At first glance, a gaggle of super-rich white people seems absolutely the best way to help Trump keep his populist word, much like his billionaire-laden cabinet.

But some are a bit more, dare we say it, centrist.

There’s Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors, which poured a lot of resources into the elitist-friendly electric car.

There’s Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, who has said he doesn’t think Obamacare will be repealed.

There’s Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, which was an Obama ally on energy efficiency and climate change and one of the greenest of corporate titans.

There’s W. James (Jim) McNerney Jr., Former Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing, which has a deal to sell airliners to Iran, and therefore benefits from the Iran deal staying where and as it is. Boeing is also a big fan of leaving undisturbed global supply chains and boosting exports to Asia, which, perish the thought, undergirded President Obama’s doomed Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact.

And there’s oil and energy expert Daniel Yergin, who knows, among millions of other things, that one cannot simply grab the oil when one invades Iraq, and that America’s fracking revolution is precisely what makes a comeback for coal country unlikely.

It remains to be seen what sort of role this forum will actually play, and whether the above individuals will pull the soon-to-be-president to the center (or, on issues like climate change, to the left). But as a whole the group would not look terribly out of place at a reception at the Obama White House.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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