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Nick Ayers, back in the day as a young up-and-comer in the Republican Party, which he still is…

Trump Makes Classic Management Mistake

Assumes He’s Hired Someone For Top Job, So Announces The Current Person In That Job Is Leaving, And Then The New Guy Doesn’t Take The Job…

Update: Not to toot our own horn, but in the section of that piece where we originally handicapped who might be Trump’s next Chief of Staff, after his first (and really only choice) Nick Ayers bowed out, of all the names being bandied about by Washington pundits, #1 on our list was Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. And that’s who Trump named. We were also kind of right in our assessment that Trump viewed him as a kind of “utility player” since he’s only getting the title of “Acting” Chief of Staff for now (not clear whether that was at his request, or Trump wanted to try him out).

Nick Ayers — VP Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff — is not becoming White House Chief of Staff. So maybe Trump should’ve waited before he announced late last week that John Kelly is out by the end of the month. Because this way kinda makes it look like Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing, and maybe everyone isn’t dying to work for him.

In fact, Trump and Kelly had apparently agreed that Kelly himself would announce his resignation today, but Trump couldn’t hold his tongue over the weekend, hence another awkward situation he finds himself in. Of course, back when Trump announced Kelly was becoming Chief of Staff, he did it before Kelly had formally agreed to it too.

As with most mistakes the President makes, unless there’s an easy scapegoat, he denies it even happened:

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Which is belied by the fact that Ayers himself, just hours before, Tweeted he wasn’t sticking around at the White House:

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Remember, the White House Chief of Staff does not need to be approved by the Senate because it’s an appointed staff position. And so Trump’s eventual pick could end up being a total wild card, since there are a lot of people out there Trump likes who might not be approved by the Senate for a position in his Cabinet (including acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker).

Professional snark Jonathan Bernstein quipped on Twitter:

“Willingness to accept the job at this point proves a disqualifying lack of political judgment”.

But we’re not so sure that’s true. It’s possible to choose to work for a vile boss if you view things in a broader context in which everybody is eventually replaced, and in which you still can do some good. Is that realistic with Trump at the helm? Maybe. Is it more likely Trump will seek an enabler vs. a visionary? Yes.

Several somewhat conventional choices are the names are being bandied about at the moment. While we usually ignore this kind of speculation until someone is actually named, we feel like doing a little handicapping today:

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We didn’t have time to check out the web pages of all Trump’s Cabinet Departments, but we did browse quite a few, and Treasury’s was the only one we could find where a Secretary’s photo was the most prominently featured thing on the landing page

In other words, despite his protestations to the contrary, Trump didn’t have a backup candidate.

Written by

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report" www.thechaosreport.com

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