Less than two years into his administration, President Trump is in search of his third chief of staff. This is emblematic of the single largest problem plaguing his White House and hamstringing the implementation of his agenda: personnel.
The president ran on a platform of orthodox American republicanism, but that offended the recent vintage sensibilities of the U.S. branch of the globalized ruling class. As a result, he always had a thin bench from which to draw, at least if he restricted his search to Beltway apparatchiks as he inexplicably did.
Thus did Trump kill his legislative agenda by making an ill-fated deal with Paul Ryan that brought Reince Priebus into the White House as his chief of staff. Priebus’s most noteworthy professional accomplishment up to then, and, in fact, even now, was to have attached himself to Ryan. Priebus was not up to the job.
Following Priebus was John Kelly, a former four-star Marine Corps general who is everything Priebus was not: accomplished, disciplined and goal oriented. But he failed too, primarily because he was not political. That’s a necessary feature in a general, it’s a fatal flaw in a chief of staff. So bad is it, that there is no more absurd analogy which would provide a striking illustration of how foolish it is to have an apolitical chief of staff . . .
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