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Here's what President-elect Trump should do next

Donald Trump
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images
Donald Trump

Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency, he needs to reassure and calm the nation in short order.

There are three things he must do within the next 24-48 hours: Name qualified and well-regarded cabinet appointees, hold a pre-inauguration meeting with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, and prepare and deliver a series of soothing and circumspect speeches to the nation.

Trump's No. 1 priority is ensuring the safety of the country after what has already been an election marked by sporadic violence and extreme rhetoric from all sides. This would really be the time for Trump to tone down the combative, defiant, and arrogant speeches and make a solemn promise to all Americans that he is not the bogeyman the Democrats and the news media worked so hard to convince us he was.

If he were to have the humility to ask all Americans to give him a chance, it would go a long way with an American public that still mostly wants to be optimistic. Trump would be wise to consider employing former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, (who did not support him for president), to write that speech because of her experience in composing addresses to a wounded nation like she did for President Reagan after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.



"Trump the candidate needs to disappear as soon as possible, and re-emerge as not just President Trump, but Trump the leader and statesman."

Trump would also have to immediately move reassure the markets that have sold off drastically in response to his victory. The best way to do that would be by naming well-known and respected choices for Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State.

This is so important that Trump would be well-advised to drastically cut whatever the waiting period presidents-elect traditionally use to announce these appointments and make them almost immediately. He would also be wise to promise not to rush into any legislative agenda without keeping the nation and both political parties informed.

The markets and the international community would be simultaneously pleased if Trump doesn't wait to take the Oath of Office before meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a tri-summit. Mexico's peso is in free fall and presumably that country's citizens and leaders are in serious need of some reassurances that Trump will not push for any quick and rash action along the border. Trudeau and the Canadians need to be in on that conversation because of their role as partners in NAFTA.

Achieving all the above without looking like he's weakening or flip-flopping might seem impossible for someone like Trump. But the title of president-elect and then, of course taking the Oval Office, comes with privileges and good reasons to alter a message that the public will accept.

And that's the key to it all now. Trump the candidate needs to disappear as soon as possible, and re-emerge as not just President Trump, but Trump the leader and statesman. He has achieved the impossible by winning an election no prominent pundit thought he could win. The bulk of the nation's voters have gambled enough to give him the presidency; Trump certainly should at least have what it takes to encourage enough of the people to keep calm and carry on.

Commentary by Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.