Make America Creative Again? 🤓

Pool / Getty Images North America / Getty Images

Pool / Getty Images North America / Getty Images

Trump's schedule, leaked

Axios revealed that between Nov. 7, 2018 (the midterm elections) and Feb. 1, 2019, President Trump had 503 hours of scheduled time, broken down as follows:

  • Executive Time: 297 hours (59%)

  • Meetings: 77 hours (15%)

  • Travel: 51 hours (10%)

  • Lunch: 39 hours (8%)

  • Events: 38 hours (8%)

The White House commented that the president “has a different leadership style than his predecessors” and that “Executive Time” has allowed for Trump to be “creative.”

Presidents' use of time

After leaving office, presidents are often judged by their administrations' accomplishments. But for sitting presidents, measuring public perception is often harder. One element the media uses is the president's daily schedule (and whether or not it is “busy” enough).


LEANING LEFT:

Axios: A big leak rattles the White House

Huffington Post: Sarah Huckabee Sanders has an interesting defense of Trump’s ‘Executive Time’

The left focuses on the sheer volume of Trump’s “Executive Time,” regularly highlighting the roughly 60% of his schedule it occupies. The left also makes a point of assuming that Trump’s Executive Time is both unstructured and unproductive, without providing proof of these theories.

LEANING RIGHT:

Breitbart: WH: Leaks of President Trump’s private schedules ‘disgraceful breach of trust’

Daily Caller: ‘Disgust’ and ‘disbelief’ within White House after Trump’s schedule leaks

The right doesn’t engage with the content of the leak, but rather with the fact of the leak itself. The right generously quotes various administration sources in their ‘disgust’ with the leak by calling it ‘disgraceful.’ By not engaging with the substance of the leak, they allow left-leaning media to lead with the narrative that Trump is unproductive.


Does a president's hour-by-hour schedule matter?

The Washington Post had a reasonably unbiased story, looking at what both sides might say. How a president chooses to spend the day (in meetings and policy briefings, as Obama & Bush 43 often did) could be reflective of different leadership styles (as the right argues), or of leadership capabilities (as the left suggests). As with most partisan topics, each of us chooses which narrative we believe.

Productivity is just...hard, y'all.

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