Book excerpt: Newt Gingrich’s ‘Understanding Trump’

Excerpted from UNDERSTANDING TRUMP by Newt Gingrich by arrangement with Center Street Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group (USA), Inc., Copyright © Newt Gingrich 2017.



It is astonishing to me, as a historian, how the elite media and much of the political establishment refuse to try to understand Donald Trump. They have been so rabidly opposed to him, so ideologically committed to left-wing values, and so terrified of the future that they haven’t stopped and considered how extraordinary his success has been.

President Trump is one of the most remarkable individuals to ever occupy the White House. His set of practical business experiences—and his lack of traditional political-governmental experiences—make him a unique president.

President Trump is the first person to be elected president without first having served in public office or as a general in the military. He defeated more than a dozen other Republicans in the primary, many of whom were first-class candidates—governors, senators, business leaders, physicians, and so forth. He defeated a multibillion-dollar campaign machine for Hillary Clinton. He defeated the mainstream media, which opposed him at every turn. And he did this without an army of political consultants or spending hundreds of millions of dollars on TV ads.

The first few months of his presidency have been a whirlwind of activity, and he has already enacted enormous change. He has experienced victories as well as defeats. One thing I have learned about Donald Trump is that he learns very fast—and that the speed at which he operates optimizes his learning. So, one of the most fascinating aspects of his presidency will be how he overcomes the gaps in his knowledge of institutional government.

Trump’s background could not be more different from my own. He is a very successful businessman with a knack for branding, marketing, and management. His abilities have made him both a billionaire and a…

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