J.D. gets Trumped

Jour­nal­ist and Toronto na­tive John Roberts, who be­gan his ca­reer as J. D. Roberts on MuchMu­sic, heads back to the White House to cover Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion for Fox News

North York Post - - News - By Ron John­son

What’s the big chal­lenge with the new gig? What’s in­ter­est­ing: I’ve done the White House be­fore, and I’ve done re­search on how to do the job. I’ve spent seven years there, so I know all about the in­ner work­ings of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, from bud­gets to mil­i­tary, so I don’t have to do any work there. The hard­est part of the job is go­ing to be re­lo­ca­tion. And look­ing for homes is my sec­ond least favourite thing to do right be­hind wrap­ping Christ­mas pre­sents. Have you started that process? I def­i­nitely have to do that. I haven’t done it. My wife has ac­tu­ally gone on one house-hunt­ing trip so far, and I’m ac­tu­ally meet­ing her in D.C. on Fri­day to look at some places on the week­end. Are you wor­ried about what might hap­pen un­der Pres­i­dent Trump? Per­son­ally, I’m not wor­ried in the least. Peo­ple look at Don­ald Trump and they see a per­son who is not cast in a po­lit­i­cal mould, and he is the an­tithe­sis of the es­tab­lish­ment politi­cians. I’ve covered this guy for a long time. I’ve known him for a long time. And I’ve seen the peo­ple who he is bring­ing in to talk to him. For ex­am­ple, the roundtable from the tech in­dus­try, most of whom ac­tively helped cam­paign against him. I re­ally do think his in­ten­tions are in the right place.… I was go­ing to say, Peter Mans­bridge is re­tired this year. There might be an open­ing? I was just given a fab­u­lous job with a front row seat to his­tory in what will be the most pre­dom­i­nant news story for the next four years, and I’m thrilled So thanks, but I’m not look­ing for any­thing right now. So you think the con­cerns are overblown? Don­ald Trump is the pres­i­dent-elect of the most pow­er­ful coun­try in the world, and he be­comes the de facto most pow­er­ful per­son in the world, and I think that peo­ple need to give him a bit of a chance. If he doesn’t de­liver, in four years, vote him out of of­fice. All these machi­na­tions to dele­git­imize his pres­i­dency, in the larger pic­ture, only serve to hurt the coun­try. Some­one is elected pres­i­dent. It is in­cum­bent upon the peo­ple of the na­tion to give them a chance. Clearly, some peo­ple will never ac­cept him, but if peo­ple ac­tively op­pose ev­ery­thing, the coun­try will never move for­ward in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion. He hasn’t men­tioned much about our lit­tle coun­try up here? It’s like your next door neigh­bour­hood: you’re al­ways go­ing to have a re­la­tion­ship with your neigh­bour. You might have an ar­gu­ment once in a while over where the fence is or the fact that his dog barks late at night, but that re­la­tion­ship is al­ways go­ing to be there. Typ­i­cally, the first visit of an in­com­ing pres­i­dent is to Canada. I don’t know if that will hap­pen this time as he’s re­ally break­ing the mould of what pres­i­dents are ex­pected to do. So what sur­prised you the most re­gard­ing the elec­tion in 2016? I didn’t think go­ing into elec­tion that Trump re­ally had a great chance at win­ning. I thought he’d win Florida. I thought he’d prob­a­bly win North Carolina and had a de­cent chance of win­ning Ohio, but I did not think he’d win Michi­gan, I never thought he’d win Wis­con­sin or Penn­syl­va­nia. And that just goes to show the idea of the un­der­ground Trump voter, that com­pletely dis­af­fected per­son, was out there and out there to a de­gree I don’t even think the Trump camp re­al­ized. What is the big dif­fer­ence be­tween an elec­tion in Canada and one there? It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause it is not just a po­lit­i­cal process in the U.S. It’s a money-maker. There are so many peo­ple whose liveli­hood de­pends on a long cam­paign whether you are talk­ing about po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tives, cam­paign man­agers over all the 50 states or the TV, ra­dio and pub­li­ca­tions who make oo­dles and oo­dles of money run­ning ads. Pol­i­tics is a big busi­ness down here. What do you miss most about Toronto? The mul­ti­cul­tural as­pect of the city. I re­ally love the fact that I could go to all of these dif­fer­ent neigh­bour­hoods and can have all these peo­ple who come from so many dif­fer­ent places around the world, and they are not ex­pected to change their way of life just be­cause they have moved to a dif­fer­ent coun­try.

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