Focus now will be on who President-elect Trump (get used to it) nominates to his cabinet. Oh, and for that open Supreme Court slot that Merrick Garland now will never fill.
These appointments will send signals as to how Trump will govern.
Granted, some scary names and jobs have been rumored. Many of those folks — Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, and Steve Bannon — deserve consideration based on their loyalty and dedication to the candidate. To the victor go the spoils, as they say. A test, though, will be to see where the president-elect places his loyalists.
Let’s just say, the cable news channels — while they do in-house postmortems on their conduct in this election — will have plenty of fodder to continue to get nearly as good ratings and keep those high-paid talking heads in fancy clothes for a while.
Seriously, though, Gingrich would be a disaster at State. Why? Well, for many reasons but one is that we saw his temperament as Speaker of the House — throwing a hissy fit when President Clinton forced him to get on Air Force One from the back side, pardon the reference. You can’t get your knickers in a twist over such slights if you’re the county’s top diplomat. You will be slighted early and often.
Giuliani as attorney general, well, we’ve seen how he holds grudges and that’s not the temperament you want at Justice. He is a nasty man, to steal a phrase and change the gender.
With Christie a possibility to be indicted over Bridge-gate, well, in a normal administration let’s just say you wouldn’t want him under oath at a confirmation hearing. Nor, actually, should he want to be under oath there even with a GOP-dominated Senate because Democratic senators get to question him too.
Obviously, when it comes to the crowd that has surrounded Donald Trump in his campaign, “temperament” will be the most repeated word for a while.
We will be able to judge Mr. Trump on his choices for his Cabinet. He does have some good possibilities. Steven Hadley, who was President George W. Bush’s national security advisor, is a sane, level-headed expert and would be a good choice for State. He’s been in that world before, knows many of the world’s players and performed well. Hadley also kept his head low during the campaign and made no political waves, showing his skills as a diplomat!
Rumors abound, too, about folks being in the Cabinet such as Ben Carson or Sarah Palin. Get used to it. They likely will end up there. You may not like, I’m sure, Palin in a Cabinet post but let’s just say that in a Trump Cabinet, I doubt she’ll get away with too much since the boss will prefer to control the headlines.
For months Trump has talked about potentially naming Carl Ichan, well known corporate raider, to Treasury. Personally, I don’t think that will happen but we’ll see.
I won’t be surprised either to see wrestling mogul Linda McMahon either named to the Cabinet (my guess is Commerce) or to an ambassadorship. She and her husband are long-time friends of Trump (who appeared on their WWE shows — for a big fee I’m told, a fee that went to the Trump Foundation, in fact, and was its largest donation). Mrs. McMahon ran for the Senate in Connecticut so has had political aspirations and is very smart.
Its key to watch who he puts at Treasury, State and Defense. That will tell a lot about him as a president. And also for White House chief of staff. Rumors are focusing on Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus and he could do worse since Priebus knows Washington, has TV experience and is pals with Speaker and fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan, which would go a long way to helping work with the Congress.
Another rumored candidate is his first campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a real Trump loyalist but who demonstrated little ability to manage a campaign, let alone an administration. He would be, to use an oft-used Trump adjective, a disaster.
Plus Priebus now has months of experience dealing directly with Trump on the campaign and seeing how he operates and, how he takes advice. Priebus supposedly told Trump the truth and kept his mouth shut on it during the campaign, a good trait for a chief of staff.