"There's a new cop in town," says Gordon, former chairman and senior advisor to Eurasia Group, an international political consultancy firm. The recent alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria gave the Trump administration "the perfect opportunity" to distance itself from the controversies it has entangled itself in during Trump's first few months in office, says Gordon, particularly the new administration's focus on Obama's legacy.
"We're heading to something that's gonna look like a George W. Trump administration," says Gordon. While he says Trump won't change his style, the generals Trump has surrounded himself with tend toward the approaches taken by Republican president George W. Bush. The Trump administration, says Gordon, should take advantage of it.
Late last week, the U.S. military launched a volley of 59 Tomahawk missiles aimed at the Shayrat air base near Homs, a response to a Tuesday chemical weapons attack. Trump, who said fighting both Assad and ISIS was "idiocy" during his presidential campaign, said his attitude to Syria and Assad "has changed very much" in comments immediately after the airstrike.
Still, the lack of a clear foreign policy may dampen excitement around America's 45th president. "I think Trump will definitely get a popularity bump from this," says Gordon. "But he doesn't appear to have any really strong strategies moving forward to leverage this."