July 26, 2017

"You have to be very smart.... You can never have somebody so smart that he's smarter than you. You have to be the smart one."

Said Trump (a while back), getting the response from Meredith Vieira: "But that sounds like you surround yourself with stupid people?"



That's an NBC video from July 2016 that collects a lot of interesting clips. I don't know when the interview with Vieira occurred. I just thought it was a funny exchange and one that might shed some light on what's going on today.

35 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But that sounds like you surround yourself with stupid people?

No wonder Trump decided to go into politics.

Ann Althouse said...

I just learned how to spell Vieira. I would never have noticed that second i if I hadn't attempted to Google it misspelled and got a "did you mean..." response.

Glen Filthie said...

"But that sounds like you surround yourself with stupid people?"


Ask a stupid question, right? If Trump were surrounded by stupid people he never would have gotten where he is. He is where he is because he picks good people.

Now, if ya wanna talk about politicos surrounding themselves with stupid people, Hillary could give ya some pointers... if you can track her down...

Jason said...

A's hire A's. B's hire C's.

Paul from Decatur, GA said...

Sounds much like what Obama said.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Trump is trying to say in his inimitable style ... "I don't like to be outsmarted " while negotiating, or making a deal. IOW ... I like to be Be a son of a bitch.

Rick said...

The difference between private business and 3rd party management often drives differences in senior leadership quality. In private ownership every dollar the owner & manager spends is a dollar out of their pocket. In companies where ownership and management are largely different the other leading managers are your allies against ownership, the better they are the more leverage you all have.

roesch/voltaire said...

While Trump thinks he is the smartest and close to Lincoln in stature, Sen Reed thinks he's crazy and Susan Collins is worried because he doesn't know there is a BOC or anything for that matter.Perhaps the comments reveals why his administration has been dumb down to the swamp of Goldman Sachs ideology and toddies fighting over, according to Trump, who loves him the most.

Tim Gilliland said...

He may BE a son of a bitch but he's OUR son of a bitch.

And Hillary Clinton will never be president.
Mission accomplished!


sunsong said...

I think it is wise to be around people who are smarter than you, not absolutely, but when possible. There are ALWAYS people smarter than you, more evolved than you, more able and capable than you etc. And that is wonderful

It is stupid and immature to *TRY* to exclude those you can learn from...

Quaestor said...

Meredith Vieira: "But that sounds like you surround yourself with stupid people?"

I can only suppose that at the Famous Talking Heads School of Journalism the sorites paradox is not discussed.

Quaestor said...

It is stupid and immature to *TRY* to exclude those you can learn from...

Bravo. You should write a letter of support to Charles Murray explaining why people who you find otherwise to be quite like minded are so stupid and immature.

Quaestor said...

I should've used Brava.

Lucien said...

What a not-so-subtle insult. 1) You admit that you need to be the smartest person. 2) I actually think you're pretty dumb. 3) Therefore, I reason that based on 1, and without stating 2, it sounds like you surround yourself with even dumber people.

Etienne said...

He's not very smart when it comes to the Washington press corps. He's actually pretty dumb, and is stuck in the mud. He's screaming about the swamp, but each time he wiggles, the mud sucks him down more.

At some point, he will become just another loser like all the other Presidents.

These guys aren't smart. If they were smart, they wouldn't allow the press corps within 100 feet of them, or the buildings they occupy.

Darrell said...

I assume Trump is playing a character in his Showbiz phase. You should, as well.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think it is wise to be around people who are smarter than you, not absolutely, but when possible. There are ALWAYS people smarter than you,

It IS important to have people surrounding you who are knowledgeable, capable and who can actually accomplish tasks that you give them. Smart people who will work with you and give you honest feed back.

It is NOT desirable to be surrounded by people/employees who 'think' that they are sooooo smart, who want to usurp your position as boss or leader and undermine your business progress.

Have any of you guys ever HAD employees?

Quaestor said...

sunsong wrote: There are ALWAYS people smarter than you, more evolved than you, more able and capable than you etc.

You can always tell when the conversation had a made a turn in the stupid direction when someone uses evolved as a word of praise.

Sebastian said...

Looks like Trump made worse mistakes than Sessions--Mattis and Price, at the very least, are smarter than he.

O, by contrast, played it smart: Jarrett, Rhodes, Rice, Hill, all safe second-raters.

Gates was an exception at the outset, soon gone but lived to tell the telling tale. Panetta was barely acceptable by the Trump rule, but O hit a dumbness homer with Hagel. Then there was JFK.

Michael K said...

"Have any of you guys ever HAD employees?"

We all know the answer to that one.

traditionalguy said...

Many strong executives hire stupid people thinking the smart ones will learn the business and leave with a piece of the business. They are right.The extra Trump brings to the role is a Command that is willing to fire them first when disloyalty surfaces. That allows use of smart men and women. Interestingly, the smart women stay loyal longer.

sunsong said...

who 'think' that they are sooooo smart,

LOL - I suggest people who ARE smarter than you...

sunsong said...

And if you are not so bright yourself, picking people not even as smart as you is really dumb - lol

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Just gonna leave these here:

NYTimes 9.3.12 Obama Plays To Win In Politics and Everything Else

Even by the standards of the political world, Mr. Obama’s obsession with virtuosity and proving himself the best are remarkable, those close to him say. (Critics call it arrogance.) More than a tic, friends and aides say, it is a core part of his worldview, formed as an outsider child who grew up to defy others’ views of the limits of his abilities.
---

But even those loyal to Mr. Obama say that his quest for excellence can bleed into cockiness and that he tends to overestimate his capabilities. The cloistered nature of the White House amplifies those tendencies, said Matthew Dowd, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, adding that the same thing happened to his former boss. “There’s a reinforcing quality,” he said, a tendency for presidents to think, I’m the best at this.
---

For someone dealing with the world’s weightiest matters, Mr. Obama spends surprising energy perfecting even less consequential pursuits. He has played golf 104 times since becoming president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who monitors his outings, and he asks superior players for tips that have helped lower his scores.
---

When he reads a book to children at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Mr. Obama seems incapable of just flipping open a volume and reading. In 2010, he began by announcing that he would perform “the best rendition ever” of “Green Eggs and Ham,” ripping into his Sam-I-Ams with unusual conviction
---

Even some Democrats in Washington say they have been irritated by his tips on topics ranging from the best way to shake hands on the trail (really look voters in the eye, he has instructed) to writing well (“You have to think three or four sentences ahead,” he told one reluctant pupil).
---

Those were not the only times Mr. Obama may have overestimated himself: he has also had a habit of warning new hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they could.

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Though he never ran a large organization before becoming president, he initially dismissed internal concerns about management and ended up with a factionalized White House and a fuzzier decision-making process than many top aides wanted.

My emphasis. Anyway this is from the Obama-loving NYTimes, so take all of this as a super-sympathetic portrayal.
Things seem to have gone worse for Trump and his Admin so far, but imagine if the Media had covered Obama the same way--Chaos in the White House, etc.

Rusty said...

Sunsong said. .........,
In that case you should be worshipping me like a god.

pacwest said...

I'm always right and I never lie. Maybe.

Bill R said...

There's a saying in business.

"A" people hire "A" people, "B" people hire "C" people.

rhhardin said...

Especially important for dog owners.

n.n said...

A jack-of-all-trades and a leader of all.

Howard said...

Being smart (performance) is not directly correlated with intelligence (potential).

YoungHegelian said...

Wow, it's too bad that Ms Viera & crew didn't take thois level of interest in the ultimate Nabob surrounded by Yes-Persons, the Clinton campaign.

Hillary had since 2000 to make sure that no one in her orbit ever challenged her & survived. And she did a wonderful job of it, purging even the mildest of dissidents from her inner circle.

If someone had shown a light on this cocooning before the election got in gear, & publicly pointed out that cocooned candidates tend to not do well (e.g. Mike Dukakis), maybe, just maybe, Hil would be prez today.

Unknown said...

"I'm like a smart person."

Donald Trump

SukieTawdry said...

Is this so very different from: I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.

Brian Crouch said...

Andrew Carnegie said that his epitaph should be: "Here lies the man who was able to surround himself with men far cleverer than himself."

Advertising magnate David Ogilvy is credited with the following:
"If you ever find a man who is better than you are - hire him. If necessary, pay him more than you would pay yourself."

Bill said...

"First-rate people hire first-rate people;
second-rate people hire third-rate people."