A tale of two tweets…

Hillary Clinton’s book What Happened is finally out, and Donald Trump could not find it in himself to stay mute on the subject. All things Hillary still matter a lot to him (call it the pain of not winning the popular vote). 

Anyway, Trump, as is his habit, took to Twitter with a short review of the book he most likely did not read:


Hillary had some advice:


Donald, do what feels right – this one has pictures! Go for it! You might learn something, as one would hope. 

Trump-a-day

President Donald Trump has sent more than two dozen tweets about Hurricane Harvey before flying to Texas to view the damage himself. Up to 30,000 people lost their homes in Houston alone. Altogether 450,000 people are victims of the tropical storm turned hurricane. 


For the first time in their lives the president and the First Lady have travelled to a natural disaster zone, and their briefing did not cover dresscode. Or did it?

For those who care, Melania had a change of shoes on Air Force One. By the time they landed in Corpus Christi, where Harvey made landfall, she’d changed into white sneakers. She has also succumbed to the branded hat. For the first time. Although, unlike her shoes, that did not break Twitter.


Republicans are cognisant of President George W. Bush’s widely criticised handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and some have urged Trump to take a more proactive approach. Trump promised swift emergency funding to help Texas recover from the hurricane, though Republican congressional leaders haven’t yet sent clear signals on how they will proceed. The full scope of damage isn’t yet known with rain expected to last several more days. 

My thoughts are going to all the people who lost everything and are full of uncertainty about their future. Is Trump capable of achieving more than sending tweets? 

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As the internet has pointed out several times throughout President Trump’s first months in office: there is always a tweet for that. 

As Trump heads to Texas to survey the flooding and damage brought by Hurricane Harvey, a number of Twitter users have pointed out that the president is about to do exactly what he criticised former President Barack Obama for doing when Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast in 2012.


The irony of Trump doing exactly what he criticised Obama for doing was not lost on people. In fact, there is an entire Reddit community dedicated to finding old tweets of Trump’s that criticise things he’s doing as president. 


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Americans do not hold President Trump in high regard, with most suggesting he is dishonest, unstable, prejudiced and selfish, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. The criticisms of the country’s 45th president do not end there, with a strong majority (58%) of Americans similarly indicating that they largely disagree with both Trump’s policies and his conduct since entering the White House. While 25% of respondents have mixed feelings, only 16% said they liked how the president conducted himself.

Split that up by political affiliation, and the results show that Democrats and those who lean Democratic are much more likely to disapprove of Trump’s conduct (89%), while Republicans and people who lean Republican are more likely to have mixed feelings about it (46%).

The poll surveyed 1,893 Americans from Aug. 15 to Aug. 21.

Trump, however, sees things differently.

ISIS? What Bills? Who’s ‘fake news’ now?

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The holiday season is over and now is the time for highly anticipated political reads, hot off the press. Last week, we talked about the upcoming release of Hillary Clinton’s memoir with an existential title What Happened.

Another soon to be released must read comes from Alec Baldwin: 

In this parody, Baldwin brings his famously satirical Saturday Night Live impersonation of the commander in chief to book form. Published by Penguin Press, the book is on sale in the US on 7 November. 

This year, I have lost quite a few friends to parenthood, so the next choice is very reflective of that.


The book contains “helpful tips like what to do if you met Trump in the woods – never acknowledge his bragging, never respond to his taunts. Most importantly, without an audience a Trump shrivels into an orange pile of nothing…” (quote from a person who made me aware of this book).

Trump also shared his book recommendation a few days ago.

That’s it for today. If North Korea and Trump do not blow up the world overnight, please check for new posts tomorrow.

Sunday Book Club: “Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?” by Alyssa Mastromonaco

Alyssa Mastromonaco is under the impression that Barack Obama did not like her very much when she interviewed for him in December 2004. Mastromonaco heard about a position in Senator Obama’s team from colleagues who she worked with on John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Lesson number one: your network is your most valuable asset. Getting a job in so many cases is about who you know as much as what you know. We are not talking nepotism, though. A diverse network of contacts is like a safety net. I had a very unpleasant work crisis last year, and it was a colleague and friend from my very first job, who lent me so much of her sanity, I did not even need a shoulder to cry on. Sure, families matter a lot, but if you want someone who just gets it about work and your specific career issues, reach out to people swimming in the same ocean.
Mastromonaco did get a job in the then-senator Obama’s office. In the decade that followed, she served as assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance at the White House, and then as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House until 2014. She was the youngest woman to hold that position. As part of her job, she coordinated logistics and operations of two presidential campaigns and inaugurations, devised plans for recovery during natural disasters, including floods and hurricanes, oversaw Obama’s foreign travels, including his trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, and so much more. This year, Mastromonaco published a book, reflecting on her experience and lessons learned. Her main goal was to get more women interested in and excited about working in government. As she admits, there never was a woman from the White House who had written such kind of book before. The lessons Mastromonaco shares could be useful to anyone in any industry.

Lesson Two: Be always prepared to defend your choices, whether just to yourself or to your coworkers, friends or family. “The quickest way for people to lose confidence in your ability to ever make a decision is for you to pass the buck, shrug your shoulders, or otherwise wuss out.” 

Mastromonaco gave insight in what it was like having Obama as your boss. The book is generously peppered with most amazing stories. As you might have guessed, Barack Obama is not someone who makes you feel small; there is no external pressure to make you take shortcuts. He assumed his team were adults and learned their own lessons when things did not exactly go as planned. 

Lesson Three: Do as much research as you can and keep your ears open. You will learn a lot about yourself by being open to hearing feedback. 

Lesson Four: The importance of self-awareness – knowing when you are at your best, what you are like on not so good days, and how much sleep you need to function without snapping at people – will allow you to keep your contacts, reputation and sanity throughout your career. Developing self-awareness is a life long process. Just stop and listen to yourself from time to time. In return, your mind and body will give you their optimal performance. 

Lesson Five: Know when it is time to leave. Mastromonaco left the White House when she reached the level of exhaustion, nervousness and insomnia that was beyond coping. We all have different reasons to say “that’s enough.” The point is, do not overstay when you know it is hopeless. I firmly believe that as we only have one life to live, we must make the most of it. Surviving in a place you hate is never a way forward. Remember, self-awareness.

Lesson Six: Know your worth. After leaving the White House, Mastromonaco accepted a job offer from VICE, where she had to negotiate her salary. Her advice: if a potential employer asks how much you want, the best response is “I’m sure there’s a salary band for the position, and my hope would be to come in at the high end of that.” For some of us, money talk will never be easy, but this is a diplomatic way to show that, as far as you are concerned, you deserve the best in your league.

Lesson Seven: Never underestimate the importance of kindness, which extends beyond “please” and “thank you.” Mastromonaco put it brilliantly: “Working in the White House is obviously heady, but it is also humbling – you are around the most brilliant, decorated brains in the country, that do not have to do anything for you, but they often do. If you approach it with grace – and a willingness to accept that many people know much more than you – you can walk away a much better person than you were when you came in.” 

At some point in your career, you will be the youngest, the oldest, the newbie, and, if you stick around long enough, the most experienced person in the room. How exciting is this! Nothing is truer than an old adage: “love what you do, and do what you love.” 

I considered keeping this book in my personal library. However, it is too good not to be shared. Therefore, as most of my books, I will be donating it to Oxfam, so it can inspire someone else.