I know some of Mr. Trump’s proposals seem frightening to many people. His budget calls for draconian cuts, such as reducing State Department spending by 28 percent and eliminating federal support for beloved programs like PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts.
His tax plan also might look as if it benefits mainly wealthy individuals and businesses, slashing the corporate tax rate to just 15 percent, from 35 percent.
But remember, for Mr. Trump these things are opening bids. Knowing him as I do, as a friend, I can imagine a more modest final budget that leaves most programs intact and compromises on a corporate tax rate of 25 percent. At the end of the day, Donald Trump is a dealmaker.
At 70, he is also not about to change. He won’t stop saying things that rub people the wrong way. And he will not stop tweeting — nor should he (though perhaps there should be a process for reviewing his tweets before posting). His theatrical persona, his rallies and his hyperbolic tweets have become the “big stick” he waves from his transformed bully pulpit.