It’s you, Mr. President, not your chief of staff

The critiques are pouring in on the White House in the wake of the ouster of Reince Priebus as chief of staff.

Donald John Trump shoved Priebus out the door this week and hired Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as the new chief.

But those critiques seem to be conveying the same message: The White House failure to function as a “fine-tuned machine” — which is how Trump once described his administration — belongs solely to the president, not the chief of staff.

It’s Trump’s tweets. It’s his capriciousness. It’s his ignorance of government and how it works. It’s the presence of unqualified family members in the innermost circle of key advisers. It’s that maniac communications director — Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci — who reports directly to the president.

Because the president doesn’t know how to assemble a competent governing team, his chief of staff has fallen on the proverbial grenade.

His new chief of staff, Kelly, comes from an entirely different mold. He is a career Marine Corps officer; a retired four-star general; a war hero; a Gold Star father who lost a son in combat. He’s a kick-ass military man.

My latest Question of the Day is simply this: Is the president going to let Gen. Kelly run the White House and control the message the way it’s supposed to be done, the way many effective chiefs of staff have done?

I don’t know what John Kelly is doing this weekend as he prepares to assume this new gig, but I would hope he’d be on the phone with some preceding chiefs of staff and asking them for pointers on how he ought to proceed in this atmosphere of chaos and confusion.

The source of that chaos? He sits on the Oval Office.

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