Trump Taps Policy Adviser Stephen Miller to Write Inaugural Address


Donald Trump and his top advisers have begun mapping out the themes for his inaugural address next month, as the president-elect has tapped Stephen Miller, his incoming senior White House adviser for policy, to write the historic speech.

Early discussions of the address have focused on laying out some of the structural problems facing the country, and then framing Trump’s first-term agenda in more nationalistic than ideological terms. Among the half-dozen areas that Trump is considering issuing a collective call to arms to address are the nation’s education system, infrastructure, border security, the state of the military and the economy, in particular, the outsourcing of jobs.

The choice of Miller, the 31-year-old who wrote most of Trump’s major prepared speeches in 2016, including his Republican national convention address that was criticized as overly dark, is of no surprise to Trump insiders. Miller played an unusually multi-faceted role on the campaign: a behind-the-scenes policy adviser, Trump’s chief speechwriter and a speech-giver himself, becoming a skinny-tie-wearing fixture over the summer at Trump rallies as a warm-up act.

“Steve’s a machine,” Jason Miller, a Trump aide, said of Miller’s prolific writing abilities (the two men aren’t related). “I’ve literally seen him knock out three speeches in a day.”

Miller, who spent part of last week with Trump in Mar-a-Lago, has consulted people both on and off the campaign as he puts together an initial draft of the speech, including Trump’s incoming White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Miller now faces a tall task, as he races to not only plot out a historic speech, but develop Trump’s policy agenda for his first 100 days in the White House and hire staff to implement it. In addition to that, transition officials said Miller has been busy in recent weeks with Trump’s “thank you” tour, drafting remarks as the president-elect hopscotched to various states he carried in November before turning his attention to the inaugural.

Trump is interested in adding his own touches onto the traditional inauguration day. Two people familiar with the discussions said that one idea that had been bandied about is having Trump bypass, at least temporarily, the traditional congressional luncheon following the swearing-in, and instead have the new president wade into the crowd or join the parade.

Although it is not clear how seriously the idea is being considered, its populist symbolism would be dramatic: Trump turning his back on political insiders on Capitol Hill in favor of the people who elected him.

“This is the people’s president,” Trump’s campaign manager and incoming White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said last Thursday on Fox News.

The extent to which Trump plans to put his own imprint on America’s grandest and, perhaps, proudest tradition — the peaceful transfer of power — is the object of fascination less than a month until he will be sworn in as the 45th president.

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SOURCE: Politico, Shane Goldmacher