Last night, Rachel Maddow did a short segment about just how ignorant Trump and his transition team is about even staffing the White House, much less running the country. It started off with Trump’s son-in-law asking how many of the people who work in the West Wing would be staying on (hint: none) and it went downhill from there:
It’s hard to overstate just how incompetent this makes Trump look or how bad this is for the country. The smooth transition of power is as incredibly complicated as it is vital. Even under the best of circumstances, a presidential transition is a mad scramble. Under Trump’s “leadership”, it’s going to make the roll out of Obamacare look like a model of professionalism and efficiency.
To top it all off, President Obama, who actually does care about what happens to the country, is going to be holding Trump’s hand over the next two months. Why is he swallowing his pride and helping someone who has done nothing other than disparage him? Because when he explained to Trump exactly what his new job is, Trump was reportedly stunned:
And six days after his election victory, the result seems to be a series of questions Trump should’ve known the answer to in advance. Do I really have to hire a West Wing staff? Do I really have to sleep in the White House all the time? Do I really have to maintain such a busy schedule? Does the scope of the president’s powers really have to be such a burden?
Obama is concerned, for good reason, that allowing Trump to go it alone would end in disaster for the country.
At the rate he’s going, Trump is going to have to turn the entire process over to establishment Republicans because they actually know how Washington works. Already, Trump has appointed Mike Pence to lead the transition team, although Pence has announced he’ll finish his term as governor at the same time. This does not bode well for having the kind of focused leadership a transition team needs but Pence is dealing with an email scandal of his own.
Regardless, the end result will most likely be either the White House is not fully staffed by Inauguration Day or that it will be staffed with the kind of experienced Washington insiders who Trump vowed to get rid of. Failing to fill the critical West Wing positions will reduce Trump to a laughing stock because what kind of mega-awesome businessman can’t handle hiring a staff? But letting Republicans fill the slots with establishment types will make Trump look like a puppet.
It’s hard to say which outcome will hurt the country (and bruise Trump’s massive ego) more.