Tag Archives: John Kelly

Who in the world would want this job?

John Kelly is out as White House chief of staff. He apparently has been forced out, making him the second individual to lose that post involuntarily during the Donald Trump administration.

Reince Priebus was the first chief of staff to get the boot from Trump.

This all begs the question: If you’re watching these developments up close and you are on some sort of presidential short list for chief of staff, would you want the job?

If it were me, I would head for the hills, hide in the tall grass, plunge into a cave. I wouldn’t want the president to know where to find me.

Office and Management Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is the current acting chief of staff, which in itself is a bizarre development. Trump is looking for a permanent chief. Where he’ll find it is a mystery to most, perhaps even to the president himself.

I had high hopes for John Kelly. He’s a retired Marine Corps general, a Gold Star dad whose son died in action in Afghanistan. He was Homeland Security secretary when he got the call to run the White House staff after Trump fired Priebus. Kelly is a take-charge guy. I had hope he would calm the White House chaos.

He didn’t do it, but it’s not entirely his fault. He works for a guy — Donald Trump — who cannot be managed. The president has no understanding of the limitations of his office and so he tries to do things that are impossible. He relies on his “gut” more than he relies on “other people’s brains.”

The president’s gut is betraying him — and the country — every single day.

I have no clue how he’s going to find a chief of staff who is willing to tolerate the idiocy that flows out of the Oval Office. Reince Priebus couldn’t hit his rear end with both hands; Gen. Kelly brought a much greater level of competence to the job, but he couldn’t work with a president who is wired the way Donald Trump is wired.

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, bailed on Trump. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did, too.

It well might be that it won’t matter one damn bit who Trump selects as chief of staff. He tells us he is the smartest man on Earth. I am partly of a mind to let this bozo try to prove it.

An ‘acting’ WH chief of staff? Really, Mr. POTUS?

Welcome to the federal government’s executive branch loony bin, Mick Mulvaney.

Donald Trump has just named the current director of the Office of Management and Budget as the “acting” White House chief of staff. Mulvaney ostensibly will serve as the White House ringmaster until the president can find a permanent chief of staff to succeed John Kelly, who’s leaving the post at the end of the month.

This is a seriously bizarre move on the president’s part.

The White House chief of staff is supposed to seize the reins of the executive staff of the president. The chief, according to those who know these things, is the president’s alter ego. He or she is supposed to know the president’s every move. He or she is supposed to have the president’s full backing. The president is supposed to simply let the chief of staff handle matters that the Big Man doesn’t have time to handle.

Mulvaney already has a full time job at OMB, which is a big enough job as it is. Now he gets to spend part of his time pretending to be the White House chief of staff working at the pleasure of a president who — as we’ve seen many times already — has this incurable penchant for second-guessing the chief at every turn.

How in the world is Mulvaney going to bring a semblance of stability to a White House that is operating in full chaos mode?

The executive branch of government becomes the product of the man elected to lead that arm of government. Americans have elected someone in the person of Donald Trump who has zero understanding of how government is supposed to work. He doesn’t know a thing about public service and has no inclination to learn anything about it.

Good luck, Mick Mulvaney. You are going to need every bit of it you can find.

White House chief of staff: no longer best job in the world

There once was a time when the White House chief of staff was considered the best job in Washington, D.C. The chief was closest to the president. The chief ran a staff of individuals who helped formulate public policy. It was a dream job.

Now it’s a nightmare post. Donald Trump has just pushed his second chief of staff in less than two years out the door. John Kelly is leaving at the end of the month. He couldn’t control the president. He couldn’t manage the staff. He couldn’t do what Trump promised he would do after he fired the first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

The heir apparent, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, was thought to be a shoo-in for the White House chief job. Then he backed out. He doesn’t want the post and, I’ll presume, the intense aggravation that goes with it. He wants to move back to Georgia with his young family.

What has the president done to this formerly plum political post? He has wrecked it. He wrecks the reputation of those occupy that post. He continues to govern by the seat of his britches. The man is clueless, yet he wants to manage the White House staff all by himself, while he continues to “make America great again.”

So very sad. And weird. And bizarre.

Let’s call him ‘Delusional Donald’

Donald J. Trump’s delusion is on full display every time events run totally counter to the lies he tells.

He said on March 6, for instance, that “Everyone wants to work in the White House.” He went on to tell the nation that every position is just chock full of applicants who want a part of the “energy” emanating from the West Wing.

Here is what he said

So, what happened this past week? White House chief of staff John Kelly resigned effective at the end of the year; his deputy chief, Nick Ayres, was slated to succeed him.

Except that Ayres doesn’t want the job. He’s bailing out, too, heading back to Georgia to, I suppose, “pursue other interests.”

C’mon, “Delusional Donald.” Can’t you just one time tell us the truth?

Wishing the latest chief of staff well

I really and truly wanted John Kelly to succeed as White House chief of staff. I wanted the retired four-star general to bring some of his vaunted Marine Corps order and discipline to a White House that lives, breathes and operates in a chaotic atmosphere.

He didn’t cut it. However, I am not going to heap piles of blame on Kelly. It belongs to the guy who brought him into the White House: Donald John Trump Sr.

Kelly and Trump have all but ended their relationship. They reportedly are not talking to each other. Why do you suppose that’s the case? My guess — and that’s all it can be, for obvious reasons — is that the president no longer wanted to heed Kelly’s wise counsel.

Believe me when I say that I empathize with Kelly if that’s the case. A direct-report position requires constant communication between the boss and those who report directly to him or her. My own career ended not long after my relationship with my boss went from cordial to, well, non-existent.

Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff. Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, couldn’t hit his rear end with both hands. The White House erupted into turf wars, battles among key advisers over who had the president’s ear; they stumbled into each other while entering the Oval Office seemingly all at once to have a word with The Man.

Kelly was brought in ostensibly to bring order to the place.

But as he learned, the way Priebus learned, there’s little if anything to be gained by trying to persuade the president to follow certain steps in order. Donald Trump cannot be reined in. Those who support him cheer him on — and it’s those cheers that Trump hears. He cannot hear anything of substance over the proverbial din.

Kelly supposedly “committed” to staying on the job until the 2020 election. So much for commitment.

I wish the general well, even as I remain a dedicated non-fan of the man who hired him.

‘Fine-tuned machine’ blows another piston

It appears that John Kelly, the man Donald Trump brought aboard to fix the White House staff, is jumping ship.

He reportedly is about to resign as chief of staff after apparently promising to stay with the president until after the 2020 election.

Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general and former Homeland Security secretary, is the second chief of staff to be ousted since Trump took office. Reince Priebus couldn’t manage the staff, couldn’t control the message, couldn’t hit his rear end with both hands. Trump booted him out.

In came Kelly. He kicked some rear ends himself, showing former policy adviser Steven Bannon the door and seeking to control access to the president.

The president’s self-described “fine-tuned machine” ain’t running well. Imagine my (non)surprise.

CNN (quite naturally) is reporting that the two men don’t speak any longer. That is not good for a relationship that demands open communication between the boss and the person who runs his staff.

That fine-tuned machine still is needs a major overhaul.

Chaos set to explode at White House

Reince Priebus got the boot as White House chief of staff because, among other things, the staff was fighting openly among its members.

Donald Trump enlisted Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to right the ship. Kelly signed on as chief of staff, kicked out some of the troublemakers and settled into his new gig as the president’s keeper.

Then came the midterm election. It didn’t go quite so well for the president and the Republican Party. The battling within the White House resumed.

Kelly now is among those closest to the president who not only is involved in some of the rhetorical brawling, he might be on the short list of key staffers about to be shown the door.

His successor at Homeland Security, Kirjsten Nielsen, is thought to be on the bubble. Defense Secretary James Mattis, too. Same with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Media are reporting that press secretary Sarah Sanders might depart by the end of the year. Rumors also are flying about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s future.

Now we have first lady Melania Trump engineering the departure of national security adviser John Bolton’s top aide. Holy moly, man!

Have I mentioned that the president’s “fine-tuned machine” is in need of a serious lube job? There. I just did.

John Kelly pledged to stay through the 2020 election. It looks now as though that pledge won’t bear fruit. What do you suppose might be driving him away? Is it the president’s SNAFU over declining to visit the cemetery containing American servicemen who died in World War I? Is the ongoing chaos that keeps the White House in a state of constant upheaval?

Whatever it is. Whatever is troubling the entire staff is likely to bring another wave of resignations/dismissals.

Get the grease gun for that White House machine.

Feeling sorry for John Kelly, except …

Donald Trump chose to skip a profoundly significant ceremony this past weekend at an American cemetery in France to commemorate a World War I battle.

He sent White House chief of staff John Kelly and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to stand in the rain, something the president declined to do.

The event was part of a weekend commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Trump managed to bungle and blunder his way through the weekend, isolating himself and the nation he leads from key allies.

But, back to the point.

The WWI battle took place in Belleau Wood, an event that is sacred in the minds of U.S. Marines. It was the first fight that sent Marines to fight a foreign enemy force. They fought valiantly and brilliantly against the German forces at Belleau Wood. The cemetery where the Marines are buried is sacred ground anyway, but it especially so to Marines.

Kelly is a retired Marine general; Joseph Dunford is an active-duty Marine general. I am wondering how these two men must have felt when they got word that the commander in chief had declined to attend the event because of reported “logistical” concerns created by the weather. The White House cooked up some pretext about Marine One, the presidential helicopter, being unable to fly in rainy conditions. The president could have driven to the ceremony. He chose to send Kelly and Dunford instead.

I would feel sympathy for Kelly in particular, except that he chose to sign on as chief of staff presumably knowing he would be working for someone who is prone to toss traditional customs aside. The president managed to disparage the Marine Corps with his no-show at a solemn event.

He also continues to shred the reputation of his chief of staff.

Omarosa: One of the ‘best people’?

OK, I believe it’s fair to ask: Did a former White House aide intend to torpedo the president of the United States who vowed to surround himself with the “best people”?

Omarosa Manigault Newman reportedly was a recording dervish during her time as a White House special assistant in the Donald Trump administration.

Newman lost her job when White House chief of staff John Kelly fired her; she recorded the event. Now we hear she has a recording of a conversation she had the next day with the president, who seems to not have known that Kelly had fired her.

How many more recordings are out there? Hey, I want to know this stuff, given that we’re talking about a presidential administration.

The president took office after vowing to populate his administration with the “best people” and using the “best words.”

Omarosa Manigault Newman, who had no government experience when she entered the West Wing, only knew Trump because of her participation on the “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show that Trump hosted. Oh, well, she had as much government exposure as the guy who hired her in the first place … right?

Wow, man! Something tells me the hits will just keep on coming.

Trump asks Kelly to stay as chief; we’ll see how it plays out

Donald J. Trump has asked John Kelly to stay on as White House chief of staff.

Kelly has agreed — reportedly — to remain at his post at least through the 2020 election.

This leaves me with decidedly mixed feelings. First of all, I admire Kelly at many levels. He is a former Marine Corps general. He’s a combat veteran, and a Gold Star father who lost his son in combat in Afghanistan. He is a no-nonsense guy who took over a White House post in serious disarray in the summer of 2017.

Kelly answers to a guy who is as unfit for the office of president as anyone can possibly be. Trump continues to baffle and befuddle his key aides, advisers and staffers. His Twitter tirades catch everyone by surprise. That includes Kelly.

I am having difficulty, thus, believing that Kelly will last through the 2020 election.

Can the chief stay the course?

We’ve all seen the video of Kelly reacting to the president’s berating German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the recent NATO meeting over her country’s natural gas deal with Russia; Trump said Germany is under Russia’s “total control,” causing Kelly to appear to look away in disgust at what Trump was saying.

It forces me to wonder: How many more times can Kelly endure this kind of idiocy pouring out of the president’s mouth?

The White House chief of staff job is stressful enough as it is. The job in the Donald Trump administration becomes an impossible task — especially for someone with the legendary discipline that a Marine Corps general-grade officer must possess.