Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Here are two Politico stories. One story attempts to explain why the Trump administration is so slow to fill crucial government positions:
Hundreds of key jobs across the federal government remain vacant as a result of an overworked White House personnel office that is frustrating Cabinet secretaries and hampering President Donald Trump’s ability to carry out his ambitious legislative agenda.

The process is bogged down as a result of micromanaging by the president and senior staff, turf wars between the West Wing and Cabinet secretaries and a largely inexperienced and overworked staff....

Trump personally oversees the hiring process for agency staff by insisting on combing through a binder full of names each week and likes to sign off on each one, according to two people with knowledge of the administration’s hiring process. Also weighing in on the names — and not always agreeing on final picks — are leaders of sometimes warring factions, including chief of staff Reince Priebus, senior strategist Steve Bannon, Cabinet secretaries and, sometimes, the White House’s top lawyer, Don McGahn.

“It’s like a medieval court,” said one person advising potential nominees through the confirmation process.
The second story points out that Trump seems to have one personnel problem fully under control:
... the White House and Trump’s political allies are ... moving to lock down the state Republican parties, installing loyalists in top positions and laying the groundwork for the 2018 midterms and his 2020 reelection campaign in key swing states.

Under the watchful eye of the president and the White House political office, Trump skeptics have been ousted from atop state committees.

... in Ohio and Michigan, ... [a]s president-elect, Trump wrote a letter endorsing Jane Timken — who had raised raised money for his campaign — for Ohio party chair and called roughly a dozen voting members of the state central committee in an ultimately successful effort to oust Matt Borges, an ally of Trump antagonist Gov. John Kasich....

Elsewhere, in other critical swing states, Trump supporters pounced when longtime chairs chose not to run for re-election. In Pennsylvania, where Trump ally Rob Gleason stepped aside after a long tenure, he was replaced by Chester County’s Val DiGiorgio, whose stated goal was to improve GOP performance in the populous southeastern part of the state that the president lost. The new chairman promptly hired a number of former Trump staffers for his senior team....

While it’s not unusual for an administration to attempt to put its stamp on the party infrastructure outside Washington, the Trump White House appears to be moving more aggressively than their immediate predecessors.
(By the way, the man in charge of this effort is Bill Stepien, a former Chris Christie aide who was involved in the Bridgegate scandal -- which, of course, focused on Christie's reelection bid. Stepien was never charged, although Bridget Anne Kelly, his onetime girlfriend, was recently sentenced to eighteen months in prison for her role.)

Does Trump care about governing? I suppose he's trying to fill all those White House positions. He reads through all those binders. But there's no urgency. I guess he likes being president, but he doesn't seem to grasp the importance of having a team in place to get the actual work done.

But elections -- Trump loves elections. In a speech late last month, Trump was still bragging about his Electoral College numbers. He's wasting no time laying the groundwork for the next election.

Why are we being so cruel to Trump? Why can't he just run for president again right now? Why can't he go back to holding campaign rallies all the time? Why does he have to work? It's so unfair.

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