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Eight ways President Donald Trump will make history

Saheli January 21, 2017 News Comments Off on Eight ways President Donald Trump will make history
Eight ways President Donald Trump will make history

President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017.

Donald Trump is guaranteed to make history as the 45th president of the United States.

And whether you love or loathe him, it’s a fact that the Republican will set a range of records as soon as he occupies the Oval Office.

From his age to his bank balance, via his notable lack of pets – here are just some of “The Donald’s” historic “firsts”.

1. Oldest incoming president

Donald Trump celebrated his 70th birthday on 14 June, which makes him the oldest man in US history to assume the presidency. The previous record-holder, Ronald Reagan, was 69 when he took office in 1981.

Perhaps keen to allay fears about his senior status, the business mogul had his doctor prepare a gushing letter pledging that he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”.

Indian right-wing Hindu activists hold a celebration to mark the 70th birthday of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in New Delhi on June 14, 2016.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionRight-wing Indian activists celebrate The Donald’s 70th birthday in New Delhi

The average age of all 44 previous incoming presidents is a sprightly 55.

The youngest ever incumbent – Theodore Roosevelt – got the job aged 42 years and 322 days, after President William McKinley’s assassination in 1901.

2. The first billionaire president

Mr Trump is the first billionaire president. Exact estimates of his personal wealth vary, with Forbes putting it at $3.7bn (£3bn) and the man himself claiming in a statement that it’s “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS”.

Many of America’s past presidents have also been extremely wealthy, of course. Recent estimates say George Washington’s estate would be worth half a billion in today’s dollars.

This combination of pictures created on January 06, 2017 shows US actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (left) and US President Elect Donald Trump.Image copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionDonald Trump has said he will take only a dollar in salary – like former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (L)

Before his 1963 assassination, JFK reportedly lived off a $10m trust fund thanks to the vast wealth of his father – investor and alleged bootlegger Joseph P Kennedy, Sr.

Mr Trump will be following in the footsteps of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger by taking just a symbolic dollar as a salary.

3. The richest cabinet

When Mr Trump began unveiling his cabinet picks, the number with fat wallets quickly drew the scorn of Democrats.

“Donald Trump’s administration: of, by and for the millionaires and billionaires,” tweeted Vermont Senator and Democrat presidential contender Bernie Sanders.

For better or worse, this will be the wealthiest administration in modern American history.

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According to the Washington Post, commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross is worth around $2.5bn on his own – roughly 10 times what George W Bush’s first cabinet were worth in 2001, when the media branded them an assembly of millionaires.

Tweet from Bernie SandersImage copyrightTWITTER

Treasury appointee Steven Mnuchin quite literally bought a bank after 17 years at Goldman Sachs, and reports put his wealth at over $40m.

It has been estimated that the cabinet could be good for an eye-watering $35bn, all told. As Quartz pointed out, this is more than the annual gross domestic product of Bolivia.

4. Least experienced politically

Mr Trump’s triumph is also significant because, until now, no-one has been elected president in more than 60 years without experience as a state governor or in Congress.

The last president with no political experience, Dwight Eisenhower, was Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in World War Two, before he was elected to office in 1953.

Supporters cheer as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, IowaImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionSome Trump voters saw his lack of political experience as a guarantee of authenticity

Before that, Herbert Hoover, who was president from 1929 to 1933, was previously an engineer and humanitarian.

But as Mr Trump tells it, his lack of links to the Washington establishment is an asset not a flaw – and more than made up for by his experience as a deal-maker.

5. Most powerful children

Mr Trump has named his son-in-law, real estate developer Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser – prompting cries of nepotism from opponents.

Some claim the appointment makes the 36-year-old the most powerful presidential son-in-law in US history.

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He isn’t the first to fit that profile, however.

President Woodrow Wilson’s Treasury Secretary, William Gibbs McAdoo, was also married to his daughter, Eleanor.

President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner (right), as his daughter Ivanka Trump, (left), stands by, after his acceptance speech on November 9, 2016 in New York City.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionFirst Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are set to wield considerable clout

That said, their case pre-dates America’s 1967 anti-nepotism statute, and Mr McAdoo was already a cabinet secretary when he wed.

Ivanka Trump, Mr Trump’s elder daughter and wife of Mr Kushner, is also being spoken of as the most influential “First Daughter” ever.

6. Fewest White House pets

So much fuss has been made of what Donald Trump owns that you might have missed one glaring absence – a pet.

It looks likely that he’ll be the first US President in over a century not to have an animal pal in the White House, after plans to have him adopt a goldendoodle dog reportedly fell through.

According to the Presidential Pet Museum, almost every commander-in-chief has had a pet, and some had a virtual menagerie.

John F Kennedy stands out for owning a veritable Noah’s Ark – everything from a rabbit named Zsa Zsa to a canary called Robin – but the crown belongs to Calvin and Grace Coolidge (White House occupants from 1923-1929), who the museum says “quite literally had a zoo”.

Barack Obama walks the first family's dog as he arrives at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on June 8, 2010.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionBarack Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, is among the more traditional pets to live at the White House

Their animal companions included at least a dozen dogs, a donkey named Ebenezer, and various creatures presented as gifts by foreign dignitaries – among them lion cubs, a wallaby, a pygmy hippo named Billy, and a black bear.

7. Most adamantly anti free-trade

Donald Trump won the presidency on a pro-job platform, and has blamed free-trade policies for the collapse of the US manufacturing industry.

This is a rare stance for a US president, probably last seen in his fellow Republican Herbert Hoover in the 1930s.

In September 2015, Mr Trump told the Economist China is “killing us”, and that millions of Americans are “tired of being ripped off”.

He said that as president, he would consider a 12% import tax to make the Chinese “stop playing games”.

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During his election campaign, Mr Trump also threatened to rip up Nafta, the free trade agreement between Canada, the US and Mexico, which has been in place for 23 years.

An April 2015 tweet by Donald Trump calling the TPP a Image copyrightTWITTER / DONALD TRUMP
Image captionThe Republican has long been opposed to the TPP, which he views as a poor deal for the US

He also vowed that the US would quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a 12-nation agreement, on his first day in the White House.

8. The First Lady’s firsts

Former model Melania Trump is as trailblazing as her husband.

She will be the first presidential spouse from Slovenia, and the first non-native English speaker.

She is only the second FLOTUS born outside the US, though – the first being Louisa Adams, wife of the sixth US President, John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), who was born in London.

As Mr Trump has been married twice before, Melania will also be the first third wife to reside in the White House. The only other US president to have divorced was Ronald Reagan, who split from his first wife, actress Jane Wyman, long before leading the nation.

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Melania speaks Slovenian, English, French, German, and Serbian, and may be the most competent linguist to hold the role of FLOTUS.

Melania Trump (right) greets her husband after the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016.Image copyrightSCOTT OLSON
Image captionMelania Trump will be the first non-native English speaker to be FLOTUS

She is the first president’s wife to have posed nude, for GQ magazine in 2000 among others.


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