Sunday, December 9, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He was publicly rejected by his first choice for chief of staff.

Trump announced yesterday that his long-suffering chief of staff, John Kelly, would finally be leaving his post at the end of the year. Trump immediately offered Nick Ayers, currently serving in a similar role for Vice-President Mike Pence, to become his third chief of staff in less than two years.

Ayers's status as the heir apparent was confirmed by the Associated Press yesterday, in reporting based on "nearly a dozen" sources that the White House was satisfied to let stand unchallenged. "Give Nick a call," Trump reportedly said.

Today, Ayers—who, at 36, was being offered the most powerful job in the executive branch after the presidency—publicly took himself out of the running and announced his plans to leave the administration entirely. 

Resistance from Trump's immediate family, who often dictate (or become) his staffing choices, may have worked against Ayers, but Trump has had difficulty finding qualified people willing to sign on with his administration right from the start. This trend seems to be getting worse as his administration begins to face existential threats from real Congressional oversight and the Russia investigation.

Why does this matter?

  • A president who doesn't have the confidence of people qualified to serve the country shouldn't be in charge of it.