Strange Bedfellows: Trump does Davos

Andy Serwer
Editor in Chief

Donald Trump is going to Davos.


To say that most attendees don’t see eye-to-eye with him would be an understatement. Well, there is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. After that, not so much.

Davos, you see, is the epicenter of globalism think. It is populated, for the most, part by rich, elite, liberal—to a great degree European—looking to make the world a better place. Davos Man is an archetype oft-ridiculed by Trump supporters. How do “America First” and “MAGA” fit in with Davos? They don’t.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

One reason why Trump may feel compelled to go is as a counterpoint to last year’s top headliner, Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose keynote speech basically laid out the case for China being the leader of the new world order. Without naming names, Xi suggested that myopic nationalism was a flawed strategy and that China was open for business. Trump may use the Winter Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (what we call Davos) as an opportunity to fire back. Or not. Right now, we don’t even know if Trump is speaking. Bet the WEF folks will be working hard to get him to.

And there’s the question of who goes with Trump. We don’t know whom on Team Trump will accompany the president, but POTUS’s Goldman Sachs posse is a likely bet. The president’s chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, for instance, has attended before. Ditto for Dina Powell, who’s stepping down from her role as deputy national security adviser soon. On the other hand, if Steve Bannon was still around, you’d imagine he’d pass, unless he wanted to thumb his nose at the proceedings. Guess we’ll never know about that one.

Trump’s presence will make it that much more difficult to get around Davos, a tiny, freezing-cold ski town tucked high in the Alps that is already bristling with security. There are already lots of guys with guns. Now there will be more. And who knows what this will cost taxpayers.

And sadly for the president, the town’s only McDonald’s apparently closed a number of years ago, and no wonder. According to the New York Times:  “In 2000, a group of more than 1,000 demonstrators carrying signs that said ‘Against the New World Order’ smashed the windows of a McDonald’s franchise here in Davos just down the road from the conference, protesting open trade policies espoused by then-President Bill Clinton, who was speaking at the event.”

Better bring food. And maybe friends too.

Andy Serwer is Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief. Read more: