The most distinctive thing was that he made his remarks to the members of Congress so small in relation to the length of the Inaugural Address, which was a speech very much directed to Us the People.
To the members of Congress, he said there was work to be done, and they need to get together to do it. "We all want the same thing. We're all good people. Whether you're a Republican or Democrat doesn't make any difference. We're all going to get along." That's it.
It's not true — other than as an aspiration. But it's his big ask. It's the premise upon which future dealings will be made.
But it's not important. The people in that room were minimized. Humble servants. Our eyes are directed back to the main speech outdoors, to The People. The We-the-People Speech:
We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort.... Together, we will determine the course of America and the world.... We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done....That's a lot of "We."
[W]e are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People. For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost....The smallness of the remarks to the "small group" at that luncheon implicitly said: It's not about you anymore. It was a call to humility, coming in soft-spoken words from the man who's been portrayed as the biggest narcissist in the world.
And maybe he is. Maybe the cleverest way for him to be the narcissist is to diminish the others who hold governmental power. If he says to them: We of the government must be humble together for the sake of The People, the humility of Congress is more real than any humility that he can possibly take on. He is the President of the United States.
He has perhaps only humiliated all of his serious competitors for power, all the more aggrandizing himself.
So watch out. Don't be taken in. Stand back. Maintain your objectivity. You can't. But try a little. Let's be careful. And hope for the best.