Monday, January 08, 2018

The Terrier in the Trump White House

From page 100 of Fire and Fury, the excellent and well-written book by Michael Wolff about the first 10 months inside the Trump White House:

[White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie] Walsh, sitting within sight of the Oval Office, was located at something like the ground zero of the information flow between the president and his staff. As Trump’s primary scheduler, her job was to ration the president’s time and organize the flow of information to him around the priorities that the White House had set. In this, Walsh became the effective middle person among the three men working hardest to maneuver the president — Bannon, Kushner, and Priebus.

Each man saw the president as something of a blank page — or a scrambled one. And each, Walsh came to appreciate with increasing incredulity, had a radically different idea of how to fill or remake that page. Bannon was the alt-right militant. Kushner was the New York Democrat. And Priebus was the establishment Republican. “Steve wants to force a million people out of the country and repeal the nation’s health law and lay on a bunch of tariffs that will completely decimate how we trade, and Jared wants to deal with human trafficking and protecting Planned Parenthood.” And Priebus wanted Donald Trump to be another kind of Republican altogether.

As Walsh saw it, Steve Bannon was running the Steve Bannon White House, Jared Kushner was running the Michael Bloomberg White House, and Reince Priebus was
running the Paul Ryan White House. It was a 1970s video game, the white ball pinging back and forth in the black triangle.

Priebus — who was supposed to be the weak link, thus allowing both Bannon and Kushner, variously, to be the effective chief of staff — was actually turning out to be quite a barking dog, even if a small one. In the Bannon world and in the Kushner world, Trumpism represented politics with no connection to the Republican mainstream, with Bannon reviling that mainstream and Kushner operating as a Democrat. Priebus, meanwhile, was the designated mainstream terrier.
Read the whole thingKindle and print editions available here.


tuffy said...

Priebus and this author can wish as much as they want, that Priebus is a Terrier. It just can't be. Barking is the least of a terrier and the easiest to see.
What they obviously don't know, is that Terriers have moral fiber, strong backbone and a great, intelligent, steely, determined mind and open heart. They are also on the positive spectrum of life. I don't see that anywhere in the GOP party, nevermind Priebus...

If asked though, I'd say that if anyone might be a terrier in DC, it might be Elizabeth Warren, a bright, intelligent, quick, sincere, principled upstart who has quite a good bite ;)

Shannon Gentry said...