But if he wants to make good on his promise to defy Washington convention, he should adequately address partisan polarization. In other words, Trump should channel his inner dealmaker and try to achieve the kind of bipartisan deals that eluded President Barack Obama, despite his high approval ratings.
But this would not be enough. He needs to show with his feet, and not just his mouth, that he is serious about making deals. The most important step that he could take is to allow Democrats to present a new version of an infrastructure stimulus that would create jobs and boost spending for blue collar and middle class Americans.
But Trump can still reverse course, demonstrating to Democrats that he is serious about protecting America’s political institutions and throwing his support behind the establishment of a select committee to investigate Russian interference. President Obama has now put new sanctions into place as a retaliation for Russia’s actions. Rather than just saying it’s time to “move on” from the hacking scandal, he can demonstrate that he is serious about using sanctions — peace through strength — until there are assurances that Russia will desist from engaging in these kinds of attacks again.
But when it comes to Trump, one can never make assumptions. Perhaps in the lead up to the inauguration he will want to show that some of the skills he is always boasting about can actually be put into effect. That would be the biggest surprise of all.