"Look, anything I say right now — I'm not the president — everything is a suggestion, no matter what you say, it's a suggestion. I feel strongly that we have to do something about — when you look at radical Islamic terrorism, we have a president, as you folks know very well, we have a president who won't even use the term for the World Trade Center, he won't use the term. And we have to do something, and you're not going to do something until you know what the problem is."Why I like that "suggestions" business:
1. Even if he were already the President (other than in the area of foreign affairs and his duties as Commander in Chief), it is what a President is supposed to do. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution says: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...." That sounds like making suggestions to me. It looks like the opposite of those dictatorial tendencies Trump's antagonists purport to see.
2. It is a complete distortion to characterize the vote for the candidate as a referendum on all the policies he or she has talked about during the election season. In the end, we're forced to vote for someone, but the vote only means that we think this person is better than the other one, and it's unfair to interpret the vote to mean we want all of those policies. For example, I voted for Obama over McCain in 2008 mainly because I thought he was better suited to handle the financial crisis. I did not enjoy seeing his victory portrayed as a mandate for health insurance reform.
3. Presidents do — and should — adjust their thinking as the context changes and new information becomes available. You don't want the President wedded to a bunch of policy pledges that were based on how things looked when he was running for office (including the now-irrelevant pressure to get elected).