What Hugh Hewitt Should have Asked Donald Trump

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TrumpShining

I’ve made no bones about the fact that I dislike Donald Trump. But I thought that he blew an opportunity when he appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s show. Trump knew full well in advance that Hewitt likes to grill his guests on foreign policy. Instead of taking advantage of this knowledge and preparing in advance to quiet the critics who see him as a policy lightweight, he just declared any question whose answer he didn’t know as irrelevant. Wordsmith gave us a good summary after the interview.

If you feel I’m being unfair to Mr. Trump, I didn’t like it when Herman Cain made his wisecrack about not knowing who the ruler of “Uz-becki-becki-stan” was, either. As a conservative you have to expect to be grilled harder by the media than any leftist would be. While I have no issue with conservatives treating the mainstream media like the partisan hacks that they are, that doesn’t mean that every tough question they ask is an unfair one. And yes, I was a Herman Cainaanite myself, and I was pretty annoyed when 9-9-9 became the answer to every question.

With Hewitt scheduled to be one of the moderators in the 2nd GOP debate, the rematch slugfest that some hoped for never materialized. Still, there was something about what Trump said in the interview that’s been digging at me, and I finally realized what it was (emphasis mine):

No, you know, I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone. I knew you were going to ask me things like this, and there’s no reason, because number one, I’ll find, I will hopefully find General Douglas MacArthur in the pack. I will find whoever it is that I’ll find, and we’ll, but they’re all changing, Hugh. You know, those are like history questions. Do you know this one, do you know that one. I will tell you, I thought you used the word Kurd before. I will tell you that I think the Kurds are the most under-utilized and are being totally mistreated by us. And nobody understands why. But as far as the individual players, of course I don’t know them. I’ve never met them. I haven’t been, you know, in a position to meet them. If, if they’re still there, which is unlikely in many cases, but if they’re still there, I will know them better than I know you.

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The mention of MacArthur was what hit me. And shifting out of political thinking mode and into workplace mode, when you get down to it our Presidential election is the most elaborate job interview process in the world today. So why not follow up from the perspective of a job interviewer? Here are two follow up questions I would have thrown out if I were Hewitt:

You say that you’re hoping to find the next MacArthur or hopefully someone close to that caliber. Based on what you’ve seen in the last two administrations, why hasn’t the next Douglas MacArthur already been identified and at the top of our military?

That’s not too tough a question, and a fair one to point at a candidate talking with the same condescending arrogance of someone who vows a “return to smart diplomacy”. From there I’d hit a little bit harder, but I still believe fairly:

By what process are you going to identify your candidates for the position? And since you acknowledge that you don’t know a lot of details on foreign policy, what questions will you ask to ensure that your candidates don’t snow you during the interview?

The last question I’d ask goes to a personal peeve. It’s been a while, but I’ve interviewed quite a few people for jobs over the years, and nothing annoys me more than when I start smelling bull snot from an interviewee. While I would never be this direct (I’d be subtler to give them the opportunity to climb out of the hole they dug, or keep digging) in a normal job interview, in  this case I think it would be warranted:

Mr. Trump, you’re a businessman and you’ve hired many people over the years. Foreign policy knowledge is a key competency for the presidency – the job you’re seeking to be hired for. Of all of the people you’ve interviewed, how many have you hired who have acknowledged  that they lack a skill necessary for the job position, and counter that once you hire them they will be smarter than you in that area?

Yes, I admit that the question is a bit condescending, but if Trump tells Hewitt that he knows nothing on a subject where Hewitt is well versed and a few briefings will make him smarter than Hewitt… you’re getting what you deserve.

The thought of a Trump presidency genuinely scares me, or even worse, a choice between Trump or Biden with Warren as his Veep. I don’t think I’d be able to watch a debate where Biden would be the calm, rational one on the stage. But then again, the American people would never elect some shallow egomaniac whose main skill is putting up a façade of competence for the TV cameras… right?

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Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

25 Responses to “What Hugh Hewitt Should have Asked Donald Trump”

  1. 1

    Petercat

    “how many have you hired who have acknowledged that they lack a skill necessary for the job position, and counter that once you hire them they will be smarter than you in that area?”

    “Smarter” was a poor word choice. How about “Better informed”?
    Trump is probably already smarter than Hewitt. Trump does not have to be better-informed than Hewitt. He only has to know enough to do the job.
    Does Obama know more about every subject than every journalist in the USA? I doubt it. Does he know enough to do his job? Well, you decide.

    Brother Bob, have you ever hired someone who knew everything that they would ever need to know about the job for which you have hired them? I suspect not, as long as they knew enough to do their job and were smart enough to learn whatever they would need to know in the future.
    But in answer to your question, most people get hired under that condition. While I have never been in a position to hire CEOs and such, nobody that I’ve “hired” to run a small business has ever known everything that they needed to know about the job, and I’ve never met anyone at any pay level who wasn’t constantly learning more.

    For example, being a Doctor may not be as stressful and demanding as being President, what with all of the golf games and vacations (sarc/off) but would you expect a doctor to know everything that he will ever need to know when he first starts practicing?
    Do you expect your doctor to know more about every subject than every other doctor in the USA?
    Do you not think that there are many questions that could be asked of the other candidates that would make them look ignorant?
    Puh-leeze.

    I am getting pretty tired of the constant barrage of criticism of Trump here. The other candidates must love him for sucking up most of the fire in the room. The more he stands being flamed, the more normal people respect him.
    And for the record, I don’t know any doctors who even play golf.

  2. 2

    VoteOutIncumbents

    @Petercat: I have issues with Trump…but you can’t deny he is bringing up issues that no other candidate was willing to talk about…and the press was only covering up. Illegal immigration being the prime example. Trump is making war on political correctness and that can only be a good thing. Don’t expect him to be around after Iowa and N.H. but he could be clearing the way for Ted Cruz…who would be destroyed by the MSM if talked about similar issues.

  3. 3

    Nanny G

    When I heard Trump say this:

    I will hopefully find General Douglas MacArthur in the pack.

    I was amazed when the parallel of this happened under Obama:
    Last week Eric Kenneth Fanning (born July 2, 1968) was nominated as United States Secretary of the Army.
    How did Fanning come up through the ranks?
    Simple.
    He didn’t.
    The openly gay man was placed in one position of authority over military segments ever since Obama took office.
    In the 1990s, he was on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee.
    He served as deputy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy beginning in July 2009.
    Obama nominated him to be Under Secretary of the Air Force on August 1, 2012.
    So, armed services, then the Navy. then the Air Force and now the Army.
    Sounds like Obama has found his huckleberry.

    If Obama could why couldn’t Trump?

  4. 5

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @VoteOutIncumbents:

    but you can’t deny he is bringing up issues that no other candidate was willing to talk about…and the press was only covering up. Illegal immigration being the prime example.

    No one else was talking about illegal immigration? Wha-?

  5. 7

    Brother Bob

    author

    @Petercat: To take my job analogy further Hewitt makes no effort to hide what kind of questions he asks. If you interviewed someone who you had provided the questions beforehand and he not only didn’t know the answers but bragged about knowing them would you hire? As to the doctor analogy would you want an orthopedic cutting into you who was proud of the fact that he knew nothing about knee surgery when he applied for the position? Actually I shouldn’t joke about that last part – that could become reality under Obamacare.

    @Nanny: Thanks. Good illustration of what criteria Trump will look for is an important question.

    @VoteOutIncumbents & Wordsmith: I think a better way to phrase the point is that Trump one of the few non-Democrats who doesn’t stammer & backpedal when pressed on his immigration views. Damned shame his fire doesn’t come from any principled conservatives, save for maybe Carly.

    @Rich Wheeler: You giving props to one of my posts may be the scariest compliment I’ve ever gotten. But thanks =8^)

  6. 8

    rich wheeler

    Brother Bob–Outstanding.
    Re Trump Some say they like him because “he speaks his mind” So does my drunken uncle but he ain’t running for POTUS.

    PROPS No worries You haven’t yet joined Word, and the departed Mata and Aye Chi as a favorite Conservative.
    BTW Aqua Are you out there?–What do you think of your new Q.B?

  7. 9

    Petercat

    @Brother Bob: #6
    “As to the doctor analogy would you want an orthopedic cutting into you who was proud of the fact that he knew nothing about knee surgery when he applied for the position?”

    As long as he learned what he needed to know before beginning the job, I would have no problem with that.
    Many people apply for jobs without knowing every last little detail about doing the job. What they need to know, they learn.
    I don’t know of any politician who knows everything that a President needs to know before taking the oath of office. Does Jeb? Does Cruz? Does anyone else? No.
    So why must Trump, over fifteen months before he could take office?

    ” Hewitt makes no effort to hide what kind of questions he asks. If you interviewed someone who you had provided the questions beforehand”

    So which was it, Brother Bob, did Hewitt :
    A) Provide the actual questions before the interview, or
    B) Not hide what kind of questions he asks?
    There’s a rather large difference between the two, and you seem to be criticizing Trump for A when B is the truth.

  8. 12

    Ditto

    @Brother Bob:

    …Damned shame his fire doesn’t come from any principled conservatives, save for maybe Carly.

    Carly is hardly a conservative. She’s not as far left as Jeb, Rubio or Kasich, but she’s much closer to them than she is to even Rand Paul.

  9. 15

    old guy

    At this point who cares who is the Pres of some of these countries. At the time of the election I would bet Donald would have a grasp on these and other items. Unlike BHO who still has not got a clue. Donald if elected would be prepared.

  10. 16

    Brother Bob

    author

    @Petercat: So are you suggesting that anyone who says they’ll hire somebody smart is a fitting answer to any job interview question? What did you hear in Trump’s answers that make him more qualified than you or me? Not trying to be snarky, it’s just that hiring the best in the business is what I would do in the same position, but my definition probably differs from Trump’s. Is how they differ an unfair question? And personally, I’ve never interviewed anyone who bragged about their ignorance, and I damned sure wouldn’t hire anyone who did

    That said, I do still respect Trump’s willingness to stand up to the press. He’s the long overdue “giving the middle finger back at them” that the press and establishment GOP so richly deserves.

    @Ditto: I know Carly’s got her warts, too. At this stage I think she’s the most conservative who still has a shot, and the only one throwing real punches at the left. If you want to read something truly depressing read the post from AoS about how Trump, Carly, and Carson are clearing the way to a nomination for Jeb!

    @Rich: I’m honored to be given a high bar to clear!
    I liked Walker, Cruz, and Perry, but none recognized how Trump changed the dynamic of this nomination cycle, for better and worse.

    @Old Guy: What makes you think he will? Obama never did…

  11. 17

    old guy

    Brother Bob 16: If you look at the BHO history, he never did anything that required hard word. Others paved the way for him. I do believe he is a lazy narcissist (sp?).
    Donald does appear to have the desire to succeed.

  12. 18

    Brother Bob

    author

    @Old guy: I agree that Trump has the desire to succeed, but the main thing he wants to advance is Trump, not this country. Eight years of that dance has been enough for me.

    I might be more prejudiced against Trump because having grown up in NJ I’ve had a front row seat for his work for my entire life. I don’t like how Obama has been trying to spread Chicago’s toxic political culture across this country – I don’t want to watch Trump do for this country what he helped to do for Atlantic City.

  13. 20

    Redteam

    @Nanny G:

    When I heard Trump say this:

    I will hopefully find General Douglas MacArthur in the pack.

    I was amazed when the parallel of this happened under Obama:
    Last week Eric Kenneth Fanning (born July 2, 1968) was nominated as United States Secretary of the Army.
    How did Fanning come up through the ranks?
    Simple.
    He didn’t.

    But you will have to admit he was fully qualified. What was the ‘necessary qualification’? He had to be ‘openly gay’.

  14. 23

    Redteam

    @rich wheeler:

    So does my drunken uncle.

    So does Rich.

    What’s the deal here Rich, why have you taken to sucking up to the conservative writers on this blog? Are you hoping they will give you a pat on the head and tell you what a good boy you are?

  15. 24

    Redteam

    @old guy: .

    Unlike BHO who still has not got a clue. Donald if elected would be prepared.

    I agree Old guy. Trump has been a leader all his life. He didn’t get where he is without a brain in his head. Obama is your typical government community organizer. Okay folks, we got our plan together, let’s all show up here at 7 in the morning and hope the people that know what to do get here before we start. Whoops, they didn’t show up. What now? Oh, let’s just head that way, maybe something will happen.

    Obama is still just about that organized. It’s a good thing he has someone to schedule his golf games, or he’d likely miss the start. But I did hear that his scheduler is ‘openly gay’, that was his only qualification requirement.

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