Editor’s Note: This post was written by Shaun VanBuskirk.
There are many lessons that can be drawn from President Cleveland and his administration that President Trump can learn from. Some of those mistakes may include his mistreatment of the media and how it negatively affected Cleveland in the eyes of the press and the public. President Trump can also learn from President Cleveland’s successes such as his ability to grow America’s economy within its own infrastructure while at the same time cutting down on foreign spending, something that President Trump has said he wants to do. Cleveland was also extremely devoted to sticking to campaign promises, seeing it as a failure if he was not able to. Trump has made a lot of promises over the course of his long campaign and if he learns from Cleveland, he’ll try and do the same.
President Cleveland over the course of his two terms in office made his fair share of mistakes – one of which was his bad blood with the media. President Trump, now only in office for nearly three months, has already begun to have his problems with the media. This started during his campaign, so it comes as no surprise that it has continued into his presidency. However, if he takes a look back at President Cleveland and the repercussions of his bad image with the media, Trump might think twice about how he deals with the press. Cleveland, as good of a president as he was, was not the nicest person to the press. He used to make the reporters stand outside of the White House, no matter what kind of weather, and wouldn’t tell them what was going on. Reporters would have to conduct interviews with people who visited the White House in order to figure out what the president was up to in terms of his policy or his personal life. Trump has treated the press badly during his time so far in office, although he doesn’t make them wait outside. He says the press is out to get him, which may be true, but maybe his relationship wouldn’t be as negative if he would work with the press instead of slamming them all the time.
The last major lesson that Trump can take from the Cleveland administration is Cleveland’s ability to stick to his campaign promises. Cleveland prided himself on trying everything he could in order to do everything that he had promised. He never changed his policies, despite pressure from within his party on the topics of Hawaii and the gold vs. silver debate. Trump so far seems to intend to keep his campaign trail promises, but only time will tell if he can accomplish all of his goals by the end of his presidency. Although Cleveland wasn’t able to accomplish everything that he had promised, he did attempt to accomplish it before it was blocked by Congress. If Trump has the same work ethic that Cleveland had, working himself into exhaustion at times, then he should be able to at least set forth many policies that he promised the American public during his campaign.
Information in this post about President Cleveland was taken from “Grover Cleveland: The American Presidents Series” by Henry F. Graff.