Donald Trump became president of the United States with so many shortcomings, it’s futile to list them here.
I’ll just mention one of them: He doesn’t know that running an executive branch of government requires order, discipline and a strict adherence to the chain of command.
So, he took office and hired a decent young man as White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus. The only problem Priebus had was that he couldn’t instill any of those qualities in the White House operation. Chaos erupted daily, if not hourly.
Then he was gone. In came another type of manager: John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, the former secretary of homeland security. Kelly instilled a ton of discipline and order. He booted “Mooch” Scaramucci from the communications director job; he showed chief strategist Stephen Bannon the door. Sebastian Gorka, the so-called “terrorism expert” was out the door next. He has limited access to the Oval Office. He has bossed the staff around like the good Marine he is.
But as the New York Times story notes, he grates on the president — and the feeling is quite mutual.
I was hoping that Trump’s appointment of Kelly might turn things around, that the White House might function as it is designed to function. It’s looking more and more that Kelly might not make the grade.
The problem starts at the very top. As the Times reports: “It is inevitable that a guy who will not be contained and does not want to be handled or managed was going to rebel against the latest manager who wanted to control him,” said Roger Stone, the longtime Trump adviser, who believes Mr. Kelly represents a kind of management coup by “the triumvirate” of two powerful retired generals — Mr. Kelly and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary — and one general who is still in the Army, the national security adviser, Lt. Gen H. R. McMaster.
Trump simply isn’t wired to follow a protocol that is not of his own making. He boasted repeatedly along the campaign trail that his stellar business success would hold him in good stead as president. It ain’t working out so well.
And let’s remember how the president accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination and declared that “I, alone” can solve every problem from which the nation suffers.
Uhh, no. You cannot, Mr. President. The office requires teamwork. It requires cooperation. And order. I should add discipline.
Gen. Kelly is trying to do his job. If only his boss would allow him.