One month in, Minnesota Republicans have plenty to like (and a few concerns) about Trump’s presidency

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People holding signs during Donald Trump's Nov. 6 rally at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

A random sampling of some longtime Minnesota Republicans shows that after one month, the honeymoon with President Donald Trump isn’t over yet — even it was an arranged marriage from the start.

Marty Seifert
MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
Marty Seifert

Marty Seifert, a former GOP legislator and minority leader, who like many GOP influencers supported Sen. Marco Rubio during the Republican primaries, observed: “Usually, early on administrations have a hiccup with personnel. Every administration has an early debacle.”

Yet Seifert went on to praise Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. “That he was quoted about being concerned about Trump’s disparaging remarks about the court system, that impressed me,” he said. 

Another former state legislator, Amy Koch, has a generally favorable take on the Trump Cabinet appointments, singling out U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. 

But Koch, a Russian linguist who, as member of the Air Force was attached to the NSA, has major problems with Trump’s perceived attitude toward Russia. “In the international arena he’s done some very good things, which makes me all the more dismayed at his missteps,” she said.  “Russia has never stopped being a threat. I am watching that very closely. Putin is not to be trusted.” 

This kind of mixed review comes from a few Trump voters I talked to. Said one self-described reluctant Trump voter, “I think the guy is a jerk, but the stock market has performed really well since he took office and Wall Street has people who are a lot smarter than I am, so they see the potential economic strength of the administration.”

Amy Koch
MinnPost photo by Jana Freiband
Amy Koch

As for the impression that Trump will use the office for personal gain, another voter shrugged. “I don’t have problem with it because he made it clear that’s what he was going to do going in,” she said. “And other presidents have done the same thing, although he may be the champion of it. “ 

Seifert and Koch do have a problem with it, though. “He needs a seminar on what he can and cannot do when you’re in office,” Seifert said. “This isn’t the Wild West free-for-all that the private sector was.”

Koch describes the potential for conflict of interest as “a monster concern. … You get to lead the greatest force in the word,” she said. “You get to lead the United States and if that comes at some personal cost to you, that’s too bad. He needs to do what every other president has done before.”

But other moves, like Trump’s decision to pull out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and his expedited (if botched) executive order to strengthen immigration from seven countries, have thrilled his most ardent supporters. “Every time he fights with the media, he makes his base happy,” said former state GOP deputy chair (and MinnPost contributor) Michael Brodkorb. “Every time the bureaucracy stops what he is doing, he makes his base happy.”

“If you were a Trump voter — standing on the overpasses, doing the lawn signs — you have to be ecstatic with the last 30 days,” he said.  “But the average voter has not been given anything to get behind.” 

Brodkorb, a one-time political operative respected for his aggressiveness, thinks Trump has picked unnecessary fights. “Within a matter of a couple weeks, Trump had set up a sizeable battle over his executive order on immigration.  And it wasn’t done in the procedural way that garnered the outcome that Trump wanted,” he said.  “Sure, there was going to be a fight over this issue, but the way they telegraphed the first punch was a bit sloppy.”

Even so, Brodkorb is impressed with the way that Trump is bulldozing his way through policy and appointments. “Trump is coming in laser focused on doing what he said he was going to do,” he said. “The pace in which they’re moving is very fast. My initial reaction is they are planning for one term. So they are working at a pretty feverish rate. But what is missing is the opportunity for the president to be the president for all Americans. I don’t know if that is a quality that he has in him.”

Trump’s relentless presence on Twitter has added another layer of anxiety over his actions. “I thinks he’s too distracted with things that have nothing to with his presidency, like when he tweets about “Celebrity Apprentice” [the reality TV show Trump once hosted],” Koch said. 

There’s another possible drawback to Trump’s relentless Twitter salvos, Seifert pointed out: “A lot of people are getting Trump fatigue. The daily drumbeat is a little wearing for a lot of people.  They say, ‘He’s been in office one month – it feels like a lot longer.’ ” 

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 02/21/2017 - 11:25 am.


    The key quote, “Trump Fatigue.” The more he tweets, more distracted we get, and criticism is whitewashed.

    Trump is single-handedly overloading the media, and they can’t help but take the bait. The average listener does not distinguish between “Trump said this about Russia…” and “Trump said this about Schwarzenegger….” which leaves him to bulldoze as he pleases.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/21/2017 - 08:37 pm.


    “Sun Tzu” 101 take the enemy in tack: Looks like he is flunking 100%
    Wall street? Goldman Sachs may disagree
    Conflict of interest: This is impressive, republicans actually calling out the duplicity of this guy.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 02/22/2017 - 09:26 am.


      It sure seems to me that we are getting into bubble territory in the stock market. I sold what I need in the next year or so for the girls’ college expenses, but I have been letting my other investments ride… Usually I just stay in the market, but with all the unknowns I may need to do some market timing… 🙂

      My post last night was about all the expensive promises Trump made and how in the world he can meet them…

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/22/2017 - 09:59 am.


        We agree on something! Things are never clear until after the fact, but experience and attention does suggest, lots of rise in this bread, but not much yeast, something could be amiss. .

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 02/22/2017 - 10:05 am.

      Goldman Sachs? You Serious?

      After they played a significant role in tanking the global economy, I listen to the “sage” advice of Goldman Sachs about as much as listen to the foreign policy advice of Charles Kruathammer and Dick Cheney in the wake of our warriors having been welcomed into Iraq as “liberators”.

      Their prognostications have proven dangerously wrong, and they’ve never admitted that.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/22/2017 - 12:16 pm.

        Well OK then:

        It was only an analysis that the market may be getting ahead of itself, bubble: Similar thoughts came from Vanguard, Bill Gross of Pimco and a spattering of other sources, all relatively similar aligned too, where are the fundamentals to support a 10%+ equity market rise? First law of investing, don’t buy or sell based on a single news article. Just 1 of a number of indicators, are we seeing a consensus or a trend?

  3. Submitted by Mike Mengel on 02/22/2017 - 12:27 pm.

    “Use the office for personal gain? He campaigned on it? ”

    This attitude is absolutely disturbing and ignorant.

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