Many commentators have been claiming that Trumps global investments are unprecedented. His financial interests are certainly worth thinking about, but such issues are not unprecedented. I am reminded of the following story I heard as a young staffer at OMB reviewing Strategic Nuclear programs and command and control systems.
It seems President Ford was disembarking from Air Force 1 following a trip. This was in the day when Air Force 1 was a Boeing 707, i.e, small.
Well, parked on the tarmac not far away was the National Emergency Airborne Command Post (aka the doomsday airplane) which provided survivable airborne command and control in the event of nuclear attack. It’s built around a B-747 airframe, i.e. it’s real big. And it has United States of America emblazoned along the side and some domed antennae, etc. Impressive.
President Ford (not tripping down the stairway this time) sees it and says, “Hey, what’s that airplane over there?!” Without missing a beat his nearest staffer replies, “Well sir, why that’s Governor
Rockefeller’s plane.” President Ford exclaimed, “Geez, that guy really is rich!”
It’s not like we haven’t had wealthy, heavily invested leaders (Kennedy would fit that description as well).