Just hours before President Trump would address Congress, two veteran politicos teamed up for a panel discussion on “Expect the Unexpected: Washington Under President Trump.” Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, and Barry Jackson, who served as chief of staff to former House Speaker John Boehner, as well as having served as an adviser to President George W. Bush offered their insights into how Trump won the election and what to expect during his tenure. The two veteran politicos currently serve as strategic advisers at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP. Noting his own status as a veteran Beltway politics insider, Jackson said of the election result, “the American people were sick of us. It wasn’t the revolt of the angry, uneducated white guy.” That anger and distrust of insiders, Jackson said, allowed Trump to paint himself as a rich outsider who couldn’t be bought by special interests running against another “politics-as-usual” insider, Hillary Clinton. Begich agreed, adding that Trump’s “Make America Great Again” message was “an aspirational moment” that played to what is, he said, the most aspirational country on earth.
(From left: CUNA’s Ryan Donovan, former Sen. Mark Begich and Barry Jackson).