We have been reading various commentaries opining on which past President our current President Trump most resembles in personality and style. The most common comparisons have focused on LBJ and Nixon. LBJ had an outsized ego and Nixon had his "enemies" list. Both spent the bulk of their adulthood years immersed in politics and loved the political theater and gamemanship. LBJ was a master manipulator of his contemporaries whereas Nixon possessed a more awkward demeanor. Both were skilled politically and extremely savvy at reading the tea leaves of both the political climate and potential legislation.
So far, regardless of what you think of Trump, either personally or of his political positions, he has undeniably shown an ability to judge the political landscape and touch the electorate. Trump, however, has spent a lifetime in the private sector albeit with many interactions with governing bodies on behalf of his businesses. That experience is no match for the years immersed in Washington that both LBJ and Nixon had before becoming Presidents so it's difficult to imagine Trump possessing the same legislative skill. Trump is without a doubt an original and, for better or worse, will make his own mark on the Presidency in his own style. I think any comparison to a past administration when it comes to Trump is a waste of time and energy.
As far as personality, many of our past Presidents have had rather large egos. We would argue that in today's climate, it's virtually impossible to run, let alone get elected, without a healthy ego. The sheer amount of events, fundraising, and 24 hour news cycle requires it. Theodore Roosevelt and LBJ are often credited with having two of the largest egos to ever hold the office.
We'll throw one other name out there for comparison's sake -- John Adams. Our second President was smart but paranoid with little tolerance for his critics. It was under his adminstration that the ill fated Alien & Seditions Acts were passed which laws, among other things, tried to criminalize statements critical of the administration. (See our previous post for a more detailed discussion.) Every time period in our country is unique and so is every President and administration. While comparisons can be fun, they are mostly futile in offering any predictive value. What value they can serve is when Presidents themselves study their predecessors to learn and grow in an incredibly demanding job. Our wish is for President Trump to do just that.