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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: What kind of president will Donald Trump be?

Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. President Trump’s first term

US Presidential election Source: PA Wire/PA Images

What kind of president will Donald Trump be? Evan Osnos looks at what we can expect, based on Trump’s behaviour up to now and how he ran his campaign.

(The New Yorker, approx 42 mins reading time)

“These checks are not gone completely, but they’re much weaker than I think most people assume,” Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said. “Congress has delegated a great deal of power to the President, Presidents have claimed power under the Constitution, and Congress has acquiesced.” The courts, Posner added, are slow. “If you have a President who is moving very quickly, the judiciary can’t do much. A recent example of this would be the war on terror. The judiciary put constraints on President Bush—but it took a very long time.”

2. The Bellagio bandit

Tony Carleo managed to steal $1 million chips from the Bellagio casino – and he almost got away with it too. Here, he explains the impatience that led to the deed, and how he got caught.

(Rolling Stone, approx 25 mins reading time)

The stickman and dealers and players lurched back. One man dove to the side like a stuntman in an action film. There were millions of dollars worth of purple and yellow and red-white-and-blue chips arrayed in front of the dealer, and tonight Carleo could take as many as he could grab. He shoveled handful after handful into a backpack he wore backwards across his chest. Stacks of $1,000 and $5,000 chips spilled across the table’s green felt. After 15 seconds that could have been 15 days, something inside of him screamed out in alarm.

3. An inconvenient truth 

GOP 2016 Trump Source: AP/Press Association Images

Trump may have begun his campaign with negative comments about race, but recently he began appealing more and more to the black working class. This piece looks at why and how his comments worked.

(New York Times Magazine, approx 14 mins reading time)

It would have been easy, expected, for Trump in his speeches to recycle the same old personal-responsibility narrative for black voters. But Trump didn’t call for black people to stop lazing around and use a little more elbow grease on those bootstraps. He was pushing for more government — Republican-led government — to help black folks prosper, a racially specific new deal that included investing in schools, high-wage jobs and black entrepreneurs. And in doing so, Trump, at least rhetorically, did something the Democrats and Republicans have largely failed to do — he took black citizens into the ranks of “hardworking Americans” worthy of the government’s hand.

4. Shattered dreams

Sabina Siddiqui was one of the pool reporters shadowing Hillary Clinton and her aides during the election. Here, she writes about election night, and how the mood rapidly changed from jubilant to downcast.

(The Guardian, approx 14 mins reading time)

As Clinton hopscotched across a small set of critical swing states in those final days, top aides sauntered to the back cabin of her campaign plane daily to brief the traveling press on the state of the race. An at-capacity group of 42 reporters huddled in the aisle or climbed on to their seats to record vital details on how the campaign was executing its turnout strategy, rooted in a massive ground game they claimed was slowly cultivating a lead too insurmountable for Trump to overcome.

5.  A Donald Trump victory party

US Presidential election A cake moulded into the shape of Donald Trump's head, and made by Melissa Alt, 24, from New Jersey, delivered to his election night event, billed as the Republican's victory party at the Hilton Midtown hotel in Manhattan Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Mattathias Schwartz went to a victory party for Donald Trump and reports back on what he saw.

(The Intercept, approx 10 mins reading time)

In front of the bar, Greg Park and Peter Sim toasted their own success, now mixed with the shared success of the leader. Park and Sim were neither rural nor uneducated nor white. They were two successful guys, friends from college, who had booked one night in their candidate’s hotel. Park, a physician, lives in Massachusetts. “Proud Member of the Deplorables,” read his T-shirt. Sim has a small dental supply business in Cincinnati, Ohio. His T-shirt had Trump rendered in Lego blocks. He was unhappy about his $1,078 Obamacare premium. It was his clients, the dentists, who had talked him around to supporting Trump, he told me.

6. The forgotten trolley disaster

Forty-six people died in a major street car accident in Boston 100 years ago. It was a terrible disaster – but one that was forgotten in time. Here, the details of the shocking incident – which happened on election night – are once more recalled.

(The Boston Globe, approx 35 mins reading time)

Screeching, sliding, it seemed to slow just in time, pausing at the brink, the front end dangling above the water, the rear wheels holding onto the tracks. The car rocked; it teetered for a second, for two. The lights cut out — the trolley pole slipped off the overhead wire — but still it wasn’t clear to everyone inside what was happening. Then wood splintered, metal popped. The trolley snapped free, plunging forward, abandoning the rear wheels on the tracks. Someone shrieked — “My God! We’re going over!” — and the passengers tumbled, screaming and reaching out for one another as the streetcar fell.


Leonard Cohen dies Source: PA Wire

Leonard Cohen died this week. Take some time out to read this lovely interview with him from the New Yorker last month.

(The New Yorker, approx 55 mins reading time)

Cohen had known some success with women. He would know a great deal more. For a troubadour of sadness—“the godfather of gloom,” he was later called—Cohen found frequent respite in the arms of others. As a young man, he had a kind of Michael Corleone Before the Fall look, sloe-eyed, dark, a little hunched, but high courtesy and verbal fluency were his charm. When he was thirteen, he read a book on hypnotism. He tried out his new discipline on the family housekeeper, and she took off her clothes. Not everyone over the years was quite as bewitched. Nico spurned him, and Joni Mitchell, who had once been his lover, remained a friend but dismissed him as a “boudoir poet.” But these were the exceptions.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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