Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What’s Your Reaction To The While House Staff Changes?
NOTE: As this edition of the Forum goes to press, so to speak, we discover, only today, Anthony Scaramucci has been fired. He and Reince Preibus are out, and General John Kelly (USMC, ret.) is said by the White House to be second in command, and the man to who everyone will report. It’s unlikely he would have taken the job, which the media says he was offered in May, without that chain of command, and the power to fire, which he first exercised with Scaramucci.
The Forum is assembled every week from Thursday to Sunday and published on Monday, so no one had any idea of today’s developments when offering their thoughts.
Don Surber: Trump is a CEO. He expects performance. Priebus and Spicer failed.
They are gone.
Last year he went through Lewandowski and Manafort before he got the campaign manager he wanted all along: Kellyanne Conway. She was his first choice. She chose a pro-Cruz pac instead. But after the nomination, she agreed to run his campaign.
Kelly earned Trump’s trust. Scaramucci got CNN to retract Fake News and fire those responsible. His interview with Ryan Lizza at New Yorker (a staunch Trump hater) was numbingly stupid. We shall see how long he lasts.
This is the entertainment section of the news, the stuff that fills the void of hours on the cable networks while they avoid the news, which is pretty good right now. The economy is expanding, illegal aliens are self-deporting, and ISIS has ebbed.
Remember, we do not know these people personally. We do know their pedigrees. Kelly retired with four stars. A Marine. Scaramucci is a millionaire investment banker. So they are men of accomplishment. We shall see how this works out.
Fausta: How many people outside of Washington D.C. and the punditry actually notice WH staff changes?
Rob Miller: Some of you may recall that I predicted that Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus would end up replaced some time ago.
In Spicer’s case, from his very first presser, it was obvious that he lacked the poise and confidence to deal effectively with the sort of rabid hyenas that inhabit the press corps. I’m actually amazed he lasted this long.
Priebus’s case is somewhat different. As head of the RNC, he worked hard to get Trump elected once he was the nominee, just as Scott Walker did. On Election night, the president elect made special mention of his efforts and his effectiveness and called him to the stage to be applauded.
And he certainly was effective and successful in that position. Priebus is a highly competent political operative. The position of chief of staff was unfortunately a mismatch. There’s a certain attitude prevalent in Wisconsin, Minnesota and a few other states where ‘niceness’ and civility is prized at all costs. Priebus had this attitude, and a very different one is called for as chief of staff. In that position, the most successful performers need, to varying degrees, the work ethic and attention to detail of Donald Rumsfeld, the realpolitik of Machiavelli, and on occasion, the ruthlessness of Genghis Khan. General Kelly is a lot closer to these attitudes, and is someone who will literally put the fear of G-d into leakers and incompetents. Priebus didn’t.
There are some indications also that Priebus might have inadvertently leaked stuff to the hostile press, and reportedly, Priebus was also upset about the firing of his close friend Sean Spicer and a little too dogmatic in showing his displeasure. It’s too bad a different job that used his strong points couldn’t have been found, although Trump apparently offered him some alternatives.
OK, the new and not so new faces. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has already shown her capability as a WH spokesperson. Mike Huckabee is one of my favorite American political figures, and it still annoys me to think what a fine president he would have made if he had gotten the nomination instead of clueless John McCain. There’s no question in my mind he would have beaten Obama like a gong, an honest, plain spoken patriot and successful governor versus a serial con artist with no executive experience and a radical, post America mindset..
Sarah’s like her dad in that respect, with little tolerance for fools. She’ll do fine. Although I have to admit I wish President Trump would offer Milo Yiannopoulos a position if Milo would take the pay cut. Aside from being a superb communicator and easily making mincemeat out of lefty journos at places like PBS and the BBC, the entertainment value would be superb. Just imagining what Milo would do to a pillowcase like CNN’s Jim Acosta elicits a wicked chuckle from me.
General Kelly will do quite a bit to help drain the swamp and spread fear over any transgressors. He is one tough, old style Marine. His temporary successor, his deputy Elaine Duke has years of experience in these matters and if she is confirmed after the recess will likely be a capable replacement at Homeland Security. She wouldn’t be General Kelly’s second in command if she wasn’t first class.
And now we come to the new director of WH communications, Anthony Sacramucci. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a house where both my parents (Z’L) indulged in very direct BrooklynSpeak, but the profanity doesn’t bother me particularly and having a no-nonsense Sicilian in a position where he can directly affect both messaging and the terrorizing of potential leakers and malcontents could be a very astute move, given the circumstances. Personally, I find statements like “Washington is full of backstabbers, I’m more of a front stabber” to be highly entertaining, and maybe exactly the mindset that’s called for. I also have a feeling that the Ryan Lizza interview was deliberately outre’. There’s nothing more effective then convincing people to underestimate you as a cartoon character and a fool…after which they can be ambushed effectively when they least expect it.
Speaking of tactics and slightly off topic, I think the entire Trump-Sessions kerfluffle is manufactured as well. Jeff Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, and the president is known for loyalty downward as well as prizing loyalty upwards.
When Jeff Sessions was first being confirmed, he was vilified as a racist almost as bad as Hitler, an odd description for the man who destroyed the KKK in his home state of Alabama. He was labeled a bigot, a crook, you name it. Now, because Trump has given AG Sessions criticism, the media is calling Jeff Sessions honest, incorruptible, highly principled and by golly, a real nice guy…just ask his ex-playmates in the Senate. And it’s just sickening, sickening to see that nasty Trump bullying him, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, under the wire, AG Sessions is launching his own DOJ investigation into the leakers as well as other matters concerning the Clintons and Loretta Lynch. Imagine the hilarity,boys and girls, when the Left tries to reverse itself and attack Sessions once the bullet hits the bone of these items.
Mike McDaniel: My reaction? “Yearrrrggghhh!” No? How about this one: “meh.” Yes. I like that one, and I suspect normal Americans do too.
So Reince Priebus is out and General John Kelly is in? Yawn. New Yawk hustler Anthony Scaramucci–sounds like a penny ante thug in a gangster movie with a nickname like “Tony da Shiv,” doesn’t it?–said some naughty words in what he may have thought was an off the record–or not–interview with a reporter? Take two aspirin and call somebody who gives a rodent’s posterior.
I keep saying this, and no one listens: Donald Trump is a mover and shaker. He became rich by accomplishing things others couldn’t do, under budget, under schedule, and right. He works hard, each and every day, and expects everyone that works for him to do the same. He expects competence, because absent same, millions are lost, and in his current job, lives are lost. And he is not, for a moment, a feckless, simpering, whining politician afraid of his shadow. He doesn’t mince words; he beats them into submission. Chuck Norris grudgingly respects him. He’s a man, a hunka hunka burnin’ love, he’ll be back, he ain’t got time to bleed, he’s the eye of the tiger, hear him roar, and he doesn’t care what the media thinks.
In other words, President Donald J. Trump is doing what normal Americans elected him to do: drain the swamp, which includes the White House. They know, in the real world, if they’re not doing their job, they expect to be fired. They figure if Mr. Trump fired somebody, he had a good reason, and don’t much care to know the details, though they are waiting, patiently for the moment, to see the prosecutions of basketfuls of the actual deplorables leaking classified and otherwise restricted secrets to the press. Priebus was a leaker? Why didn’t Trump fire him sooner? They’d like to see the press prosecuted for that too, and boy oh boy, do they want to see Sarah Palin own The New York Times. They want, naïve and silly though it may be, the rule of law to apply to everyone, particularly the smug asshats of the Beltway, and Donald Trump seems to be working to do just that.
They’ll forgive a great many mistakes by anyone that accomplishes that. Keep us informed about that progress, and as for the rest—meh.
Puma By Design: Actually, I am quite pleased that President Trump is cleaning house and while I wish that he had implemented Operation Clean ‘Em Out sooner, six months makes perfect sense.
The President, like any leader needed time to get his bearings on the comings, goings and trappings not only in the White House but the swamp in its entirety. As for the trappings and betrayal, there is plenty.
This, of course, is where now former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus came in. Priebus, a NeverTrumper from day one and that was his first mistake.
Priebus is of the swamp and fooled no one in. After all, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell supposedly urged the President to choose Priebus as his Chief of Staff.
If by chance, Ryan and McConnell (and even Priebus) thought that there was a debt to be paid (the mindset of an elitist), then okay, it is a wrap. Here we are six months later with both Ryan and McConnell having proved themselves a failure as well, the debt is now paid in full.
Although their presence was solely at the pleasure of the President, Spicer, Priebus and the presence of other swamp dwellers in the White House for a time could not be avoided.
Enter July 2017 and the clock has run out on Priebus and fellow swamp critters whose presence were (and are) a hindrance to the President and his agenda. Their biggest mistake is underestimating the novice in the White House.
The Atlantic writes that “For once, the rumors of Reince Priebus’s demise were not exaggerated.”
The faux outrage is just that. It was obvious as far back as last January (pre-Inauguration) that Priebus’ tenure in the White House and that of the swamp critters he brought along with him was temporary.
The Communist media complex is in contact with Barack Obama and his anti-Trump operatives in the Obama War Room gathering talking points for the day’s talking points which consists of making much to do about nothing, sabotage and treason.
I look forward to White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci and former Secretary of Homeland Security Ret. General John Kelly, whose tenure as the President’s Chief of Staff starts tomorrow (Monday) to fumigate the place and set things right.
Neutralize (I said “neutralize”) the buggers.
Laura Rambeau Lee: With President Trump coming into the White House lacking political experience it seems inevitable that assembling a harmonious team would be one of his toughest challenges.
Appointing Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff seemed an odd choice initially, but who better to help him become accustomed to the job, to aid in suggesting cabinet appointments, and assist in navigating D.C.? Now that Trump has six months on the job things are shaking out. Priebus is an establishment Republican and the establishment Republicans are not who elected President Trump. It was the conservative wing of the Republican Party along with Democrat and Independent voters disenchanted with the direction our country is heading.
If President Trump is going to keep his promises to those who elected him he needs like minded people close to him. Reince Priebus served his purpose and it is no shameful thing for him to leave. I hope the appointment of retired General John Kelly as new chief of staff will help tighten things up internally and limit the distractions a hungry media delights in reporting. Kelly did an excellent job at DHS in the short time he was there. Hopefully the chain of command issues will be worked out with him as chief of staff and leakers will be routed out and fired.
Expect more shaking out of the initial cabinet appointees in the weeks to come. Hopefully the changes will be beneficial to the advancement of the agenda the president was elected to implement.
Well, there it is!
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