Will the real Donald Trump please stand up?

President-elect Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump

- America has now been treated to two distinctly different Donald Trumps. 

First there was the bombastic, take-no-prisoners and, some would say, bullying Donald Trump on the campaign trail, but now we hear and see a kinder and gentler Donald Trump as the president-elect. Which is it?

A long-time Democratic consultant in this town hasn't the foggiest idea.

"I'm not sure who he is channeling now, whether that's the real Donald Trump or is it the persona that he thinks he is suppose to play? My concern is that it is a role, and, at some point, he will fall out of that role," so says Kelly Rossman of the Truscott-Rossman firm.

We got a glimpse of that right after the "he's not our president" protesters took to the streets after November 8. The first Mr. Trump response was not very kind, as he blasted them for being organized protestors egged on my the anti-Trump media. But then, in a 180 degree turnaround the next day, a tweet went out that embraced the right to protest.

Which is it?

A participant in a post election focus group told interviewer Frank Lutz that he feared Mr. Trump would "fall into the system and join the wolves" in the nation's capitol.

There is more post-election conduct to ponder.

During the last debate he looked his opponent right in the eye and promised to hire a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton's behavior. You could hear the "lock-her-up" chant outside in the Trump camp.

But then during a "60 Minutes" interview, he seemed to walk that back saying, "I like both of them," referring to her and her hubby. He suggested he had more important things to do that go after the pair, whom he previously called "crooks."

On the stump, with vacuum hose in hand, he promised to drain the Washington swamp, yet one of his first major appointments was that of a long-time "swamp" resident Reince Priebus, the national GOP chair, as his chief of staff.

His rhetoric was heated during the campaign but he told reporter Leslie Stahl that in reality he was a "sober" man.

Which is it?

He promised to repeal Obamacare, but then afterwards said he would keep some aspects intact.

During the same interview he looked into the camera and asked everyone to "stop it" if they were intimidating Muslims and others.

Ms. Stahl muffed the opportunity to ask him if he took responsibility for helping to create a climate of intimidation that is also resonating in some of our schools around the state.

Again, Ms. Rossman: "It's hard to believe the man we see now is the same man leading up to the election. They are two very different characters."

That was also underscored during his one-on-one sit down chat with President Barack Obama. "I will seek his council," he suggested.

Wait a second. Didn't candidate Trump bash Mr. Obama every chance he got?

What you may be seeing here is the harsh difference between running for an office and then actually having to govern in that office. At some point, that reality hits every president right between the eyes as they conclude some of the campaign promises may be tough to deliver.

It would be impossible to form a new government without bringing other "swamp" occupants into the administration. Experience does count for something, even though lots of voters preferred his lack of government experience over the 30 years his opponent possessed.

Former President Jimmy Carter tried that. He brought in all his pals from Plains, Georgia, which is not a suburb of D.C., and tried to run the government with all those outsiders and it didn't take too long for the insiders in Washington to dismiss the whole lot of them as incompetent, arrogant and out of touch. Color Carter a one-term president.

The savvy business guy Mr. Trump knows that to be effective he needs the help of those who have been there and done that while he has not.

Ask Gov. Rick Snyder about coming in from the outside with no political acumen.

The transfer from business CEO to head government honcho is a tricky one if for no other reason than, you can't order everyone to do what you demand and if they don't you fire them. Lawmakers don't take kindly to be ordered around as if they were the hired help.

So, was Mr. Trump's hot  pre-November 8th rhetoric an act to get elected? Will his ardent supporters blast him for selling out to the very establishment he ran against?

Good questions, but the one that began this column remains, will the real Donald Trump, please stand up?


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