Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke

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Chapter 1
Summary

The author begins this chapter by mentioning a phone call conversation between Steve Bannon and David Bossie that happened back in 2010. The conversation is about meeting Donald Trump who has an interest in running for president (Woodward 17). Bannon cannot believe what he is hearing as he has never seen Trump as a serious figure. He believes that Trump can never run for president, and most importantly of all, he cannot hope to compete against Obama (Woodward 17). However, Bossie thinks that Trump is serious and thus manages to convince Bannon to accompany him to New York for the meeting.

Bannon and Bossie arrive at Trump Tower and Donald Trump greets them warmly. Bossie has a detailed presentation depicting an effective way of winning the Republican primary and running for president against Obama (Woodward 18). Bossie insists that one has to know many things, both small and large if he is to run for president. He also claims that to be a successful Republican candidate then one has to be pro-life, especially if he is to win in a Republican primary. However, Trump is pro-choice and thus he must change his opinions to fit the mold, they also discuss Trump’s voting history and donating records. Nevertheless, he provides a roadmap saying that Trump has to operate as if he is running for governor in three states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He is sure that the other states will follow if the candidate focuses on these three states (Woodward 20). In addition to this, Trump has to write individual checks to congressmen and senators, as well as writing a policy book showing his opinions on the United States and current policies.

Despite the efforts, Bannon still thinks that Trump will not be successful in a Presidential run. He believes that Trump will not write the cheques, nor will he write the policy book (Woodward 21). In fact, he claims that there is a zero chance that Trump is going to run.

Analysis

The author uses the phone call conversation to show the reader how idealistic people saw Trump back in 2010. Clearly, Bannon and Bossie have a clear understanding of American politics, something that inspired Trump to meet with them. Nonetheless, from the conversations it is clear that Trump is clueless about politics. He even admits that he is a businessperson and not career politician (Woodward 18). The author shows Trump’s inadequate knowledge when it comes to the political field. In contrast to this, he portrays Bossie and Bannon as politically able and knowledgeable individuals who are ready to help Trump succeed.

Despite his willingness to help, Bannon sees the meeting as a waste of time, he has a relationship with Trump and cannot afford to sugarcoat the truth. He is also open and honest, and not afraid of presenting his ideologies. On the other hand, Bossie seems to believe that Trump is indeed serious and thus he shows his willingness to offer effective support.

In short, Woodward uses this chapter to take his audience into a journey back to when it all started. The chapter depicts the dream possessed by Trump in becoming the US president, a dream he could not attain at that time because of his inadequate political knowledge.

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