TRUMP’S POWER LUNCH

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

All hail the Mr. Bigs of the Amer­ica — the CEOs, the deal mak­ers, the chair­men. While Democrats dither over Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s cab­i­net choices and the breadth of his busi­ness hold­ings, a new re­al­ity is slowly but surely tak­ing over. The White House and Amer­ica it­self ap­pear des­tined to be­come a haven for smart busi­ness. Con­sider that 16 of the na­tion’s uberCEOs plan to gather with Mr. Trump in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal for a meet­ing of the mighty.

They will as­sem­ble at the White House the first week of Fe­bru­ary, and they will go un­der this au­gust name: “The Pres­i­dent’s Strat­egy and Pol­icy Fo­rum.” So step aside here, folks. Mr. Trump is draw­ing the tal­ent from a ver­i­ta­ble pan­theon of busi­ness lead­ers. Names on the rar­efied ros­ter in­clude Mary Barra, chair­man and CEO of Gen­eral Mo­tors; Bob Iger, chair­man and CEO of The Walt Dis­ney Com­pany; Doug McMil­lon, pres­i­dent and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Jack Welch, for­mer chair­man and CEO of Gen­eral Elec­tric. The group’s chair­man is Stephen A. Sch­warz­man, CEO and co-founder of Black­stone, an as­set man­age­ment which has $361 bil­lion of those as­sets and 300,000 em­ploy­ees.

They are not there to pos­ture. The 16 mem­bers of the fo­rum are ex­pected to give pri­vate sec­tor in­sight on how gov­ern­ment pol­icy im­pacts eco­nomic growth, job cre­ation, and pro­duc­tiv­ity in a “frank, non-bu­reau­cratic, and non-par­ti­san man­ner,” ac­cord­ing to the Trump tran­si­tion team.

“This fo­rum brings to­gether CEOs and busi­ness lead­ers who know what it takes to cre­ate jobs and drive eco­nomic growth,” says Mr. Trump him­self. “My ad­min­is­tra­tion is com­mit­ted to draw­ing on pri­vate sec­tor ex­per­tise and cut­ting the gov­ern­ment red tape that is hold­ing back our busi­nesses from hir­ing, in­no­vat­ing, and ex­pand­ing right here in Amer­ica.” the move­ment at all,” writes John Gram­lich, an an­a­lyst for the Pew Re­search Cen­ter, which re­leased a sur­vey on the is­sue on Mon­day.

“A ma­jor­ity (54 per­cent) of U.S. adults say they have heard ‘noth­ing at all’ about the alt-right move­ment and another 28 per­cent have heard only ‘a lit­tle’ about it. Just 17 per­cent say they have heard ‘a lot’ about the move­ment,” Mr. Gram­lich con­tin­ues. “Lib­eral Democrats and Demo­cratic-lean­ing in­de­pen­dents are far more likely than other Democrats to have heard about the move­ment. Two-thirds of lib­eral Democrats have heard a lot or a lit­tle about it, com­pared with fewer than half of con­ser­va­tive or mod­er­ate Democrats (39 per­cent) and just four-in-ten Repub­li­cans.”

It’s com­pli­cated, and the evolv­ing “move­ment” — first iden­ti­fied in 2002 — gar­ners con­sid­er­able press at­ten­tion.

“The alt-right is small. It may re­main so. And yet, while small, it is part of some­thing this elec­tion showed to be much big­ger: the emer­gence of white peo­ple, who ev­i­dently feel their iden­tity is un­der at­tack, as a ‘mi­nor­ity’-style po­lit­i­cal bloc,” wrote Christo­pher Cald­well, a se­nior edi­tor for the Weekly Stan­dard, in a re­cent op-ed for The New York Times.

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