Financial Times has named Donald Trump its person of the year. Like Time magazine before it, FT pointed to the fact that Trump's election was legitimately a milestone in the U.S. And, like Time, FT highlighted some of the negatives about Trump's victory. Like this (piece paywalled):
A bigger concern may be a lack of knowledge about the world beyond his business empire. There is always the suspicion that Mr. Trump's opinions come from the last person he spoke to. "What Trump doesn't know could fill an ocean — he has literally never read a book, including the U.S. Constitution," says a longstanding associate. "What Trump does know fills up Trump Tower."
Those aren't exactly glowing words for the incoming leader of the free world. But the future occupant of the Oval Office is going to look past it — after all, I mean, person of the year!
Thank you to Time Magazine and Financial Times for naming me "Person of the Year" - a great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
The question has to be asked: Does Donald Trump read?
Maybe — but only headlines. On Thursday morning, he lashed out on Twitter at Vanity Fair — "Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way Down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out," he tweeted — after they wrote a scathing must-read take-down of the restaurant in Manhattan's Trump Tower titled "Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America."
He's, like, so smart he managed to misspell the word "wait." Yikes. pic.twitter.com/FkMmgGcTFL
— Mark Joyella (@standupkid) December 15, 2016
Here's another theory: Donald Trump does read, but he's banking on other people not reading. He's banking on people reading his tweet, or even just the reporting on his tweet, without getting into the subtext of the article. Who goes past the headlines anyway?
Trump's not exactly riding a wave of populism into the White House. And as much as he and his team want to say there was a "massive landslide," the numbers don't bear that out. He won by a Jill Stein in the states that he really needed, squeaking by in key areas while losing the popular vote by millions.
According to a CBS poll released Thursday, only 34 percent of Americans think that he'll be a good or very good president. Nearly a quarter — 23 percent — think that he'll be average. More than a third — 36 percent — think he'll be a poor one. That's not just Democrats bringing down the average; independents are basically holding true to the average.
Compare that to President Barack Obama, whose "good" or "very good" rating was 63 percent, or even George W. Bush. Only 14 percent thought he'd be a poor president.
Four in 10 Republicans say Donald Trump is tweeting too much, and a lot of people think that he's going to have massive conflicts of interest.
If this is Donald Trump's honeymoon period, he's in trouble.
The people who will fact-check Trump are the members of the "dishonest media." And he's going to do everything in his power to make sure that as many people as possible bypass those hacks to get to his Twitter feed instead.