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President Trump and the Baby-Sitters Club

President Trump and the Baby-Sitters Club
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Mr. Trump says being president is harder than being a real estate tycoon, because, “These are heavy decisions,” and when you’re the president, “people want more and more.” They also try to stop you from doing things you want to do. Boo!

Failing to pass any big legislation, tangling with the courts on his executive orders, worrying about the F.B.I. investigation into his team’s contacts with Russia makes Mr. Trump grouchy. He screams at the television, at staffers, and at Republican legislators, demanding that somebody make it stop. But when Mr. Trump’s advisers tell him what he might do, he likes doing the opposite — like when he fired James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., or stared at the solar eclipse. After he blurted out secrets to Russian officials in the Oval Office, his team worried about “leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders.” H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, tries to correct the president and keep him out of trouble. The president calls General McMaster “a pain.”

When Mr. Trump has one of those “moods where sometimes he wants to blow everything up,” his staff takes him outside. He sat in an 18-wheeler in the White House driveway one time. “Honk, honk!” went the horn. He sat in a red fire truck, too. “Where’s the fire?” Mr. Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence. “Put it out fast!” Mr. Trump went to Saudi Arabia, where they gave him steak and ketchup and put his photo on the side of a building. But most of all Mr. Trump likes when his staff plans field trips to rallies in red states, where he can campaign for president again.

Those rallies are fun, but back at the White House, nothing gets done and the president’s worn-out minders are warring among themselves.

So they got John Kelly to be the White House chief of staff and enforce new house rules. Mr. Kelly makes sure the Oval Office door stays closed, keeping the president inside and the staff and random buddies out. No more visiting Mr. Trump without an appointment — that means you, too, Ivanka! No more back-stabbing. No more slipping the president goofy website stories that he confuses with facts. No more secretive executive orders, and no official phone calls without Mr. Kelly on the line. No more impromptu events. No more Mooch. And no more Bannon.

But Mr. Trump keeps getting into trouble. He says the wrong things about neo-Nazis, and threatens to shut down the government unless Congress gives him money for the border wall that he said Mexico would pay for. He is bullying his allies and stomping all over his agenda. And, oh, does he tweet and yell.

Mr. Kelly is a tough guy. He was a general in the Marine Corps and commanded American troops in Iraq. He has gotten the White House staff under control, but not the president. A few days ago, he said he wouldn’t even try. Uh-oh!

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