With the resignation (firing) of Priebus President Trump seemed to signal that he was done playing footsies with the establishment of the Republican Party. At the same time long time Trump pal Anthony Scaramucci came to the White House as the new White House Communications Director. That force Sean Spicer to submit his resignation because Scaramucci announced that he would not be reporting to the Chief of Staff and would instead go right to the President himself. Try drawing those lines on an organization chart.
In comes Gen. John Kelly who was the Secretary of Homeland Security and now assumes the post of Chief of Staff. This is a retired General who is used to a chain of command and discipline. I am positive he informed the President that nobody would be going around him and reporting directly to the President. In effect he has announced that there is a new sheriff in town. That would not sit well with Scaramucci and so he was quickly ousted from the communications position. He did not help himself with his rash comments and vulgar language.
This is a welcome change and perhaps we can finally get some “regular order” in the White House. I would hope that he would exercise some real authority and send a few more people packing. The press has reported that the President is allowing Kelly to build his own team and if that is case I can suggest a few people who could be “cleaned out.” Steve Bannon would be first on my list because he is someone that feels he can go around the Chief of Staff. Steve Miller, his protégé, would closely follow him and I would not stop there. Next up would be Kellyanne Conway. She did a wonderful job in running the campaign and getting him elected but she is too loose with her tongue to hold a key position in the White House. Then we would get to the really tough ones. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the First Daughter and Son in Law, would be talked with and convinced they could help the President better by returning to New York and concentrating on their own personal projects. This would bring a whole new team and hopefully some people that have some gravitas and experience in running the government.
My youngest daughter is the managing partner in a Family Law firm and in speaking to her today she made a great analogy. She is a liberal and not a Trump supporter but she said something to me today that I think was spot on. She said that in most divorce or custody cases there is one side that cannot keep their mouth shut and you hate to put them on the witness stand. She said that Obama would be a good witness in such a case because he would measure his words. Trump, on the other hand, would be a complete disaster because he would be liable to say anything. Nothing frustrates a trial lawyer more than having a witness that thinks he can out talk anyone else.
This will be the largest challenge for Gen. Kelly. Can he rein in a President that feels compelled to tweet on just about everything? If he sees something on TV early in the morning his thumbs start typing. You simply cannot be Presidential if you keep doing that and then later have to backtrack and correct yourself.
I am hoping that the move by Kelly to the White House will be the start of a new emphasis on doing things the way they should be done. No more shooting from the hip and trying to do damage control. If he can bring a sense of discipline to the White House staff he would have made a major step in allowing this administration to move forward and do the people’s work.