A man without a party

A man without a party August 3, 2017

 

6261650491_0cd6c701bb_zBefore Reince Priebus was President Trump’s Chief of Staff, he was the chairman of the Republican National Committee.  Now that Priebus is out, the president has virtually no personal or staff ties with the Republican party.

So says Tim Alberta, who notes that among President Trump’s closest advisors, only Mike Pence is an actual Republican:

Looking around Trump’s inner circle, there is communications director Anthony Scaramucci, a political novice who in the past donated to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; chief strategist Steve Bannon, who used Breitbart to try and burn the Republican Party to the ground; National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, a lifelong Democrat; director of strategic communication Hope Hicks, who has zero history with GOP politics; and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, a pair of self-professed Manhattan progressives. Of Trump’s closest advisers, only Mike Pence has any association with the Republican Party.

Priebus was also the link to Republicans in Congress, whom President Trump needs to pass his agenda but who are increasingly alienated from the White House.

I’m not saying whether this is good or bad.  Some observers have wondered if Priebus has been the source of the leaks that have plagued the White House.  If they stop, that will tell us something.  If not, the staff still has problems.  The Republican party itself has become dysfunctional.  It has been said that Donald Trump is the first Independent candidate to win the presidency–he just ran as a Republican.  But governing requires getting support.  Maybe the president’s advisors could bring in the support of some of their fellow Democrats.

Read Alberta’s article on the subject after the jump.

From Tim Alberta, Without Priebus, Trump Is a Man Without a Party – POLITICO Magazine:

Trump resented the idea that his chief of staff was there to tame him, and resented even more the notion that Priebus was the conduit to a Republican Party he had conquered.

But Priebus was the conduit. By firing him, Trump has severed a critical connection to his own party—not simply to major donors and GOP congressional leaders, but to the unruly, broader constellation of conservative-affiliated organizations and individuals that Priebus had spent five years corralling. He was effortlessly tagged as an “establishment” figure—inevitably, given his title atop the party—but Priebus was a specialist at coalition-building. He convened regular meetings as RNC chairman with influential players in the conservative movement, picking their brains and taking their temperatures on various issues. That continued as chief of staff: Priebus spoke by phone with prominent activists, such as the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, at least once a week. There is a meeting scheduled at the White House this Wednesday of the Conservative Action Project—an umbrella group that brings together leaders from across the right—and Priebus was planning to attend. It was this kind of systematic outreach that made Priebus, whatever his flaws as a West Wing manager, an essential lieutenant for Trump.

There is no question, however, that Priebus’ absence will echo loudest on Capitol Hill—particularly in the speaker’s office. Ryan’s team had heard whispers for months of Priebus’ possible departure, but the news was nonetheless a dagger, especially on the heels of a health care defeat and at the dawn of tax-reform season. . . .

In his place is John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general and respected disciplinarian whose mandate is to succeed where Priebus failed: imposing order and organization on a chaotic White House. Kelly, however, is not a political figure; he did not support (or oppose) Trump’s campaign, and is not known to hold strong political or ideological inclinations. Looking around Trump’s inner circle, there is communications director Anthony Scaramucci, a political novice who in the past donated to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; chief strategist Steve Bannon, who used Breitbart to try and burn the Republican Party to the ground; National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, a lifelong Democrat; director of strategic communication Hope Hicks, who has zero history with GOP politics; and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, a pair of self-professed Manhattan progressives. Of Trump’s closest advisers, only Mike Pence has any association with the Republican Party.

[Keep reading. . .]

Illustration by DonkeyHotey, Flickr, Creative Commons License

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