Reince Priebus: Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff until….?
There is a need to shake-up the White House, a bit more. I don’t know Reince Priebus so I have nothing good or bad to say about him. However, I do know what the Chief of Staff of the White House [WH] has to do and its not happening currently.
WH staff members typically have very little operational flexibility or strategic influence. The measure of one’s presumed power in Washington DC is delineated by the proximity to that individual who happens to be POTUS. In reality, a chief of staff can wield a lot of operational power if he/she becomes the unofficial exoskeleton of POTUS. In the example of Nixon, there was no doubt that Henry Kissinger [HK] was in charge. Nothing came into or left that WH without the imprimatur of HK.
In retrospect, I have to admit the HK had done an admirable job considering that he had to steer the entire USG throughout the Watergate scandals. Finally, he steered the USG through the subsequent impeachment of Nixon.
I might add that HK had been well versed in psychology and personality disorders, including perhaps his own. During and after WWII, HK was a U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Operative, a position which afforded him the unique opportunity to deal with an assortment of different types of people. Also his Germanic temperament made it somewhat easier for him to impose order on what could have become a chaotic Nixon administration.
In contrast, Reince Priebus comes from a completely political background bereft of military service, entrepreneurship, or any scholarly achievements. I do not begrudge him his paucity of life’s experiences. It is simply a fact of his professional life. An incisive NY Times article [Nov. 21, 2016] entitled “Reince Priebus, Normalizer in Chief” by Mark Leibovich hinted at some major personality discrepancies within Priebus that might explain why I consider him to be ineffectual as chief of staff for Trump:
“For all his well-honed sheepishness, Priebus’s ‘just a kid from Kenosha, Wisc.’ shtick belies a penchant for main stages, big-ticket rooms and high-level company. No shortage of Reince Priebus’s photos hang on the walls of the R.N.C.’s headquarters on Capitol Hill.”
One could immediately recognize how Donald could manipulate such a political panderer whose self-esteem depends completely on being liked by the Republican establishment as well as, his immediate boss, Donald Trump. Remember: Trump is the master of manipulation.
As Trump once vehemently praised Priebus’s successes, he was also setting up Priebus and Sean Spicer for major falls and dismissal. Sean Spicer has become more of an embarrassment for the WH as a result of his inability to maintain control of the herd of cats aka the WH press corps. Melissa McCarthy’s brilliant SNL caricature of Sean Spicer has made this well-intentioned gentleman a laughing-stock of America; as well as, a serious liability to the presidency.
In my past thirty years, I have witnessed some very effective Chiefs of Staff. Under both the Reagan Administration and the Bush sr. tenure, no person was more important for the smooth flow of data, intelligence, and performance than the inimitable James Baker III. He never told you what to do. Yet, if you did not know how or what to do, you were immediately dismissed without any evidence of personal umbrage or regret. It would be fair to say that his presence was felt and not really seen. If anyone messed up on a particular task, that person was absent the next day. Nothing was said. No apologies were offered. He was efficient and ruthless.
It’s time for Trump to clean out the civilians within his WH who have been found wanting in their respective performances for whatever reason. I recommend that Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer be fired before you personally, Donald, become the butt of the ridicule which encompasses your erstwhile appointees in the WH!
The famous African /American Olympic champion, Jesse Owens, said the following:
“Although I wasn’t invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn’t invited to shake hands with POTUS [FDR] either.”
That’s pretty much where I stand on this important issue of WH reorganization!