After weeks of snarky headlines about President Trump failing to find an attorney to lead his legal team, the Washington Post has officially confirmed that Rudy Giuliani is being brought on board to manage the president’s legal strategy.
Thank God. Trump, who has been looking for a Roy Cohn-alike for a long time, most likely found it in Rudy, whose public and private mercilessness, to say nothing of how highly he’s regarded among law enforcement (possibly including Robert Mueller himself), should do a lot of good in bringing this headache to an end.
However, Giuliani’s hiring should be considered just one part of a much wider, positive trend for Trump. When the president first took office, it was noted with acid contempt in many papers that his primary criterion for seeking officeholders was not in agreement with his political vision, nor demonstrated loyalty, but . . . well, looks. “Trump wants appointees to ‘look the part,'” screamed The Hill newspaper over this apparent faux pas. Never mind that a good appearance is often a shortcut to credibility.
Nevertheless, the approach didn’t fully pay off. Trump took on the disappointing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and even considered Mitt Romney, because both men “looked the part.” He hired first Michael Flynn and then H.R. McMaster for the same reason. Steve Bannon’s demonstrated loyalty apparently meant less to Trump than his (admittedly weird) wardrobe.
But now, Trump seems to have changed his tune. Where once John Bolton’s mustache was a disqualifier, now Bolton’s actual views have overruled that problem. Where Mike Pompeo’s Chris Christie-esque figure might have once doomed his chances at Secretary of State, now Trump understands that the size of Pompeo’s brain is more important than his suit size. And now, where Trump once probably would have sought a Gregory Peck-looking Adonis to lead his legal team, he brings in the visibly elderly yet mentally razor-sharp Giuliani. We’re witnessing a shift in Trumpworld from trying to find people who “look the part” to finding people who “sound the part.”
And given its results so far, that is a very good thing.
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