President Trump needs a new White House chief-of-staff to replace Gen. John Kelly. Trump isn’t on speaking terms with Kelly, which has tended to limit the general’s effectiveness.
Trump reportedly wanted Nick Ayers for the job. Ayers is the chief-of-staff for Vice President Pence. That job is to White House chief-of-staff as cat sitter is to tiger sitter.
Ayers said no thanks.
Where will Trump turn? Leading candidates are said to include Rep. Mark Meadows; Mick Mulvaney, the head of the Office of Management and Budget; and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Matt Whitaker also receives mention.
I have no inside information, but I’d be surprised if Mnuchin wanted the job. There have also been reports that Trump is dissatisfied with Mnuchin’s performance as Treasury Secretary. Reportedly, he the Washington Post, “signal anew that Trump’s response to the November drubbing [note: in which the GOP gained Senate seats] is to move further to the right rather than towards negotiations with ascendant Democrats.”
I’m all for moving further to the right. However, I think Trump will set his course independent of the ideological preferences of his chief-of-staff.
Mulvaney’s advantage is that he’s been an important member of the administration. He knows his way around. There would be little or no learning curve.
Mulvaney has also demonstrated the administrative skills associated with the chief-of-staff position. Plus, he’s a strong conservative.
Mulvaney seems like the best choice for the worst job in official Washington, DC.