08.03.2017 0

Understanding Trump: Chaos or a Plan?

By Rick Manning

As originally published at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/344933-trumps-white-house-whirlwind-just-builds-on-his-winning

The D.C. whirlwind continues as the Trump administration makes more news in a day than former White House’s made in a week.

Anthony Scaramucci attacks Reince Priebus. Priebus is out as chief of staff. Gen. John Kelly is in as chief of staff. Scaramucci is out as communications director before he even moved into his office. Just a normal Friday through Monday in late July in the new D.C..

How do you understand this apparent turmoil?  In my view from the outside, it is really quite simple. In construction, President Trump hired different people with different skills to do different parts of the job, and he has continued this into the political world. If you have any doubts, just look at his winning presidential campaign.

Trump initially chose Corey Lewandowski to manage his campaign over some long-time associates largely due to Lewandowski’s unique contacts in the critical primary state of New Hampshire. And Lewandowski ran the campaign that the president needed to win New Hampshire and subsequently blow out the rest of the field before March was over.

When the focus of the campaign turned to the convention delegate process, the president replaced Lewandowski with Paul Manafort, an expert at Republican convention politics and delegate selection rules. This was not an indictment of Lewandowski, who had some controversies surrounding him at the time, but instead a recognition by the president that Manafort was the right tool for the job the campaign needed done at that moment in time.

Shortly after the nomination was secured, Trump turned to Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon to lead his campaign through the rigors of the general election. Conway, a polling expert who looks around the corners of data to find pathways to victory, and Bannon, who understands the cross-party appeal of the Trump message better than anyone, combined to bring the president’s message to bear and destroy the Democrats’ so-called impenetrable “blue-wall,” winning the White House in the process.

In each instance, President Trump put the right person in place to keep what the “smart people” in D.C. considered a losing effort on the road to victory. And the beltway crew consistently misunderstood what Trump was doing because his actions didn’t conform to how it had always been done.

When looking at the Priebus tenure in the White House through this lens, it is easy to infer what his job was. Get the operation up and going, create relationship continuity with the establishment GOP in Congress, and move the ball legislatively to achieve the president’s agenda.

It is reasonable to assume that Preibus would have needed to find himself a new position a few months into the administration whether he was successful or not, as the White House transitioned from a start-up with all its problems to the every-day blocking and tackling of governance.

With that new objective in mind, Kelly is the natural person to take the White House from the crisis management of the first six-months to focus on long-haul projects and doing the behind-the-scenes work that drives the president’s agenda across the administration.

While the situation may seem chaotic from the outside, I think a reasonable viewing of the first six months of the Trump administration shows a predictable consistency.

What’s more, while the professional chattering class has been obsessed with Russia, tweets and palace intrigue, the president has been successfully rolling back many of President Obama’s job-killing regulations, has a Supreme Court nominee on the job, is successfully deporting criminal illegal aliens and MS-13 gang members and has cracked down on countries who have been abusing trade deals.

These almost under-the-radar accomplishments are important parts of the Trump agenda to restore America’s economic growth and vibrancy. Now, with Kelly in place, it is time for the legislative aspect of the president’s agenda to take flight with the first tests being tax reform, the debt ceiling and funding the 2018 fiscal year by the end of September. Putting an infrastructure bill together and finding a way forward on healthcare is in the cart of must do’s as well.

In the political and social economy of Washington, D.C., Reince Priebus leaving the Trump White House is seen as upheaval, but in the business economy of President Trump, it is common sense to put the best talent in the game when their skills are most needed.  And when you think of it that way, the Trump way makes sense for both his administration and to meet the needs of the nation as a whole.

Rick Manning is President of Americans for Limited Government.

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