Happy New Year, White House staff. They’re seemingly filled with anxiety about their future and the future, possibly, of the Man in Charge — the president of the United States.
Donald Trump has returned to the White House from his “working vacation” at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He is sunny, upbeat and ready for the challenges that 2018 will bring him.
I hope he’s really ready for what could be a rough year, as if 2017 wasn’t rough enough.
Sure, he got that tax cut through Congress and signed it into law before Christmas. But … that was it, legislatively. Of course, the president had a different take on it, calling his first year the most successful in the history of Planet Earth.
A new year is now upon us all. The White House reportedly is getting ready for more senior staff shakeups. I guess they’re getting used to it by now. Trump has let one White House chief of staff go; he canned the White House communications director, who replaced the guy who resigned; he fired his first national security adviser; the first White House press secretary quit in a huff.
Deputy Cabinet officials have yet to be named in many departments. The secretary of state might be on the bubble; but then again, maybe not.
And, yes, we have the special counsel’s investigation into that “Russia thing.”
Against all that backdrop, there is a concern among White House staffers about a potential Democratic onslaught in the upcoming midterm election. “They absolutely should worry about 2018,” said Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to President George W. Bush. “I do fear a wave election. Democrats are highly motivated to vote against Trump and all Republicans. Trump has got to grow beyond the base, and he has got to make himself less hated among a group in the middle.”
Yet the president keeps talking about “winning” and saying all is good, all is bright, all is just plain peachy within the White House.
I, um, don’t think that’s the case.