What president-elect has ever done a nationwide ‘thank you’ tour?

Donald Trump is the first.

This is something the taxpayer is not shelling out for.

He began on December 1 with a rally in Cincinnati (fast-forward to the 45- or 50-minute mark):

On December 6, he appeared in Fayetteville, NC:

On December 8, he gave an address in Des Moines, Iowa:

VP-elect Mike Pence is joining him at some of these rallies and is also doing a few of his own. Visit Trump’s Schedule page for upcoming events.

RSBN (Right Side Broadcast Network) will be covering all of these rallies just as they did during the campaign season. And, just like the campaign rallies, the crowds are the same in the Thank You Tour.

I think Trump misses doing rallies, exhausting as they must have been, especially near the end with two or three in one day. He enjoys being with regular Americans.

Contrast that with Hillary Clinton, who is going to throw a thank you party for her wealthiest donors. Forget the campaign workers:

In other Trump news, it really is time to ‘drain the swamp’:

And:

Trump is really enjoying having the military around him:

I’ll write about Gen Mattis in another post. He has been called a military monk: never married, no children — his profession is his vocation. He is also a military historian and is well read on countless battles going all the way back to the Ancient World.

I mention that now because two English friends of mine expressed horror at a general nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ getting anywhere near the US Department of Defense. I told them they had nothing to worry about. He is a sensible man. He doesn’t even like the name ‘Mad Dog’, which came about as a compliment from his fellow Marines a long time ago. But I digress.

The Breitbart article tells us this is:

a move that has been described as “unprecedented” by some analysts.

Trump has already named retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his secretary of defense and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as White House National Security Adviser.

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, a border security hawk and the U.S. military’s longest serving general, has emerged as the president-elect’s top contender for Secretary of Homeland Security.

Two other retired high-ranking military officer, Army Gen. David Petraeus and Navy Adm. Michael Rogers are also being considered for top posts within the Trump administration.

Gen. Petraeus could be the next Secretary of State and Adm. Rogers the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Senate will have to confirm Gens. Mattis, Petraeus, and Kelly for their cabinet posts.

The Left are freaking out:

In the WaPo op/ed, [post-doctoral researcher Peter] White criticizes Trump for trying to place more than three high-ranking military officers within his cabinet, arguing that doing so would place the United States in the same category as dictator-led autocracies such as  Zimbabwe, adding that advanced democracies have no more than two military officers holding top positions in the executive branch.

The New York Times agrees. No surprise there:

Turning to the retired officers reflects Mr. Trump’s preference for having strong, even swaggering, men around him. But it worries national security experts and even other retired generals, who say that if Mr. Trump stacks critical jobs purely with warriors, it could lead to an undue emphasis on military force in American foreign policy.

Apparently, having a civilian in charge of defence is one of America’s oldest constitutional traditions. But Breitbart says:

When the U.S. Department of Defense replaced the War Department in 1947, Congress determined that the Secretary was to be appointed from “civilian life,” noting no military officer could hold the post until seven years after his or her service.

Right. So this came about after the Second World War, not 1787.

In any event, the president — a civilian — is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Mattis will require a waiver, because he has not been a civilian for seven years:

Congress has the prerogative to issue a waiver. It did just that under President Truman, who appointed five-star Army Gen. George C. Marshall to serve as Pentagon chief from 1950 to 1951.

Let’s wait and see what happens.

If it doesn’t work, he will change it quickly, just as he has done over the decades in the Trump Organization.

Photograph by Nadav Kander for TIMEThere is another big Trump news item this week. He is Time‘s Person of the Year.

Thank goodness. When I voted a few weeks ago in their poll, it took ages to get to the page with his name. It seemed to be at the end of a rather long list of candidates. Julian Assange was also top in people’s estimation, with the president-elect second.

Their cover story article is okay but hardly supportive. I would be interested in seeing the copy they wrote on Hillary, which they surely must have done weeks ago. This piece seems like a rush job.

As such, Trump fans won’t be thrilled, but low-info people might learn something. It covers the election campaign, features an interview with him and soundbites from chief of staff Reince Priebus and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

Nadav Kander’s photographs are excellent, particularly those in black and white. The man should win an award for them. Priebus looks completely different as does Conway. Kander’s lighting and angle give his subjects depth and presence.

Time also explained why they chose Trump:

For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.

Regardless of Time‘s perspective, I couldn’t help but think of all the NeverTrump people I know. What will they say now that his picture is everywhere? Some of these people will be receiving the magazine in their letter boxes. Others will see it at news-stands or at the supermarket.

Many people told me this year that I was wrong about Trump. ‘Trump can’t win,’ they told me time and time again, looking at me as if I were feeble-minded.

I’m glad my better half went to place a bet on Trump winning. We got 4-to-1 odds. We didn’t bet a lot, because with three or four weeks to go before the election, there was no certainty at all. The man at the betting shop had a quizzical expression when SpouseMouse placed the bet: ‘Really? Are you sure?’

To all the people who treated me as if I were senile, I hope they see this Time magazine cover so often within the next week that they never forget you can’t stump the Trump.

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