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Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Speech Is The First Step In A Long, Complicated Mating Dance With The Republican Establishment

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When Donald Trump took the podium today at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.—surrounded by a relatively small crowd (by his standards) of political elites and journalists—what came out of his mouth sounded a little different than what the public has grown used to from the presidential candidate.

Gone were the incendiary statements about Islam, the sweeping dismissals of NATO, and the friendly overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a teleprompter ensured he would not make any of his customary off-the-cuff remarks. What resulted was what may be the most restrained speech Trump has given thus far during his year on the campaign trail.

As Trump looks increasingly likely to win the Republican nomination, today's speech marked the first step in what will be a long and complicated mating dance with his party's establishment.

"This was the pivot," said Juliette Kayyem, homeland security expert and host of the "Security Mom" podcast.

"He is now making overtures to an establishment that obviously does not like him very much," she explained. "Trump's previous world vision is isolationist, antagonistic to almost everything the Republican foreign policy elite believed in."

Instead, Trump laid out a vision that could appeal to some conservative realists—criticizing foreign policy interventions like Libya and vowing to get tough on partners like Saudi Arabia and China.

But Kayyem says to truly woo the establishment, he will need to go further.

"He is going to need a top-class foreign policy team that...is going to make him sellable by congressional Republicans in the Senate and the House," she said.

"In other words," she continued, "if they're all in this together, he is going to have to deliver."

To hear more from Juliette Kayyem, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.

 

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