NEWS AND OPINION:
The same guts, determination and focus that propelled President-elect Donald Trump to victory will come in mighty handy when he assumes office. The nation, in fact, perceives Mr. Trump as a man with some gumption. Though they may fault him on other points, 71 percent of Americans say he is “a strong person,” according to a new Quinnipiac University poll; 94 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and even a grudging 51 percent of Democrats agree. No one disagrees. That opinion is also shared by majorities in a dozen other demographics, including three-quarters of American men, two-thirds of college graduates, 63 percent of women and 59 percent of non-white respondents.
Mr. Trump could confound those analysts poised to proclaim he doesn’t have the classic “experience” to deal with national and world affairs. They are overlooking an emerging factor. The skill set is changing thanks to incessant and unpredictable press coverage, social media and cultural factors — leaders must use diplomacy and muscle, tactics and street smarts, determination and flexibility. Style and chutzpah play a role as does gamesmanship and instinct.
Ahead of his time, Ronald Reagan had such qualities back in the day, when he faced down the Soviet Union and brought optimism back into fashion. Mr. Trump — who is very at home on the global stage, as is his wife, Melania — appears to have them as well.
The phenomenon is on some select radar already. Talk radio host Michael Savage has a new book arriving in March, titled “Trump’s War: The Fight to Make America First Again.” And “Trump’s war,” Mr. Savage says, began Wednesday, as the incoming president squared off with the press over “false news.”
Looks like Vice President Joe Biden has his eye on an iconic automobile once he leaves office.
“He’s trying to figure out what to buy when he’s out of office. He was going to get a Stingray. He’s imprinted on Stingray,” Chevrolet’s Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter told Road & Track after overseeing Mr. Biden’s close encounter with a splendid “admiral blue” Grand Sport during a visit to the Detroit Auto Show earlier this week.
“He wants to try the Z06. He’s a little worried that it might be over the top for him, but he’s definitely interested in trying,” the engineer observed.
TRUMP CULTURAL MOMENT
Donald Trump Eisenhower Dollar Coin, Trump Dollar Coin, President Trump Inauguration Commemorative Coin, Donald Trump Silver 2016 Presidential Liberty Replica Coin, Donald Trump 45th President Colorized Currency and Coin Collection, Donald Trump 45th President 4 Coin Set, Donald J. Trump 45th President of the United States Official JFK Kennedy Half Dollar U.S. Coin, Donald Trump — Make America Great Again Commemorative Coin, Trump Half Dollar and five-card life and times trading card set.
— Among the many commemorative coins available as the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump looms; suppliers include the Franklin Mint and Congressional Mint.
CONSERVATIVES, LIBERALS RATE ‘GLOBAL THREATS’
When Donald Trump arrives at the White House next week to get down to business, Americans know what’s waiting for him. A big majority say he “will inherit an array of global threats,” says a new Pew Research Center survey. It bears the somewhat dire title “The World Facing Trump.” So which threat is the worst? Pew Research analysts find that Americans have wildly different interpretations as to what constitutes a threat as the nation and incoming administration move forward. The views are “ideologically polarized,” the pollster says.
For example, 88 percent of liberal Democrats say climate change is a “major threat” to the U.S.; 18 percent of conservative Republicans agree. Another 70 percent of the liberal Dems fear “Russia’s power and influence.” Thirty-nine percent of conservative GOPers agree. The liberal Democrats are not much alarmed that large numbers of refugees are leaving Iraq and Syria; only 19 percent deem it a major threat. And conservative Republicans? A full 70 percent say the phenomenon is a major concern.
The only spot where the two groups have vague agreement is over cyberattacks on the U.S. from other countries: 78 percent of the Dems and 66 percent of the GOPers agree. See how the rest of Americans feel in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
BERNIE HAS A SAY
A certain Vermont independent remains very vocal. Former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders will deliver a major public speech on Sunday, ready to push back against Republicans in Congress who pine to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. “Continue the revolution” advise the organizers from Our Revolution, a progressive activist group that grew out of Mr. Sanders’ campaign.
Curious? See the speech streamed live at 1 p.m. ET here. A million viewers, incidentally, watched a similar public address by Mr. Sanders in mid-December supporting Rep. Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chairman.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: The Factor Home, “custom built fortress” in Palm Springs, California. Three bedrooms, five baths; 5,471-square-feet includes formal dining and living areas, in-law suite, card and media rooms; described as “jaw-dropping” desert lifestyle. Ten-foot doors, black granite fireplace, 14-foot exterior walls, courtyard, mature palms, pool, spa. Located on 13th fairway of Canyon Country Club golf course. Price includes all furnishings and art. Priced at $2.5 million through TheMLS.com; find the home here.
POLL DU JOUR
• 79 percent of Americans say ISIS is a “major threat,” 17 percent say ISIS is a “minor threat”
• 71 percent say cyberattacks from other countries on the U.S. are a major threat, 24 percent say they are a minor threat.
• 54 percent say “Russia’s power and influence” is a major threat, 36 percent say it is a minor threat.
• 52 percent say “China’s power and influence” is a major threat, 36 percent say it is a minor threat.
• 52 percent say global climate change is a major threat, 32 percent say it is a minor threat.
• 46 percent say large numbers of refugees leaving Iraq and Syria are a major threat, 35 percent say they are a minor threat.
Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,502 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 4-9.
• Helpful hints and peevish complaints to email@example.com.