Americans may not recognise the reference but Jim’ll Fix It was a long-running British television show that lasted nearly 20 years from 1975.
The idea was for “Doctor Magic” to work on making some wistful child’s wishes come true. The viewer’s letter would be read out and Jim would “fix it”, whatever it was. Sometimes, as that great information-source, Wikipedia, tells us, it could be pretty spectacular.
“In 1976 Muhammad Ali was on a world tour to promote his book, The Greatest,” says Wikipedia. “Landing in London, catching the BBC by surprise, and with no time to bring the thousands of hopeful letter writers to a meeting with the legend, the TV company nipped next door ‘borrowing’ three schoolboy boxers from the school (Christopher Wren). Vince, Andly and Nigel were whisked off to meet Ali.”
And then there was this adult’s dream come true, as described by Wikipedia: “Veteran actor Peter Cushing wrote to the show in 1986 to ask if a variety of rose could be named after his late wife; the ‘Helen Cushing Rose’ was the result.”
So to Donald Trump. No one knows if he is a devotee of the Jim’ll Fix It TV format. But he seems to believe in it. For him, the key difference is the name. Jared’ll Fix it.
Now that he has appointed his 36-year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to reinvent America’s entire federal government (as well as bring peace to the Middle East and a few other matters like diplomacy, domestic policy etc), Jared’ll Fix it. He has to.
Or not. Instead, he could shoot the breeze about his plans, talk big and do little.
Consider some of the recent pronouncements coming from the Jared’ll Fix It figure in the Trump White House:
“We should have excellence in government,” he has said. “The government should be run like a great American company.”
Fair enough. Can he do it?
Here’s what Timothy O’Brien thinks and his views matter. Not only is he a senior bod at Bloomberg, but he wrote a biography of the future US president ‘TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald’. He also has the distinction of having been sued by Donald Trump and having won!
Anyway, so here are Mr O’Brien’s views:
“Let’s toast Trump and Kushner as fast as we can, because they’re going to need all of the help they can get if this nod toward innovation is going to amount to anything more than a head fake. After all, it’s not clear that they even understand how the bureaucracy they’re steering functions.”
And again: “Trump’s business career has also been plagued with managerial snafus and poor deal-making offset by tireless marketing and energetic self-promotion. All of Trump’s shortcomings that surfaced last week in the health-care debate – a lack of attention to detail, the assumption that charisma could make up for weak team-building, a lack of strategic thinking, prioritizing publicity and spin over substance, an unwillingness to take responsibility for his own mistakes, and impatience – are the same shortcomings that have haunted Trump throughout his career.”
He Will Fix It.