President Donald Trump is finally realizing he needs some establishment Republican types to bring stability to his administration — but he’s not finding many takers.
The president is reportedly considering a number of staffing changes after his legislative agenda stalled and his administration drowns in the Russia scandal, but experienced Washington hands are reluctant to sign on, reported The Hill.
Trump rejected many GOP veterans for White House jobs because they had criticized him during the campaign or felt they had been insufficiently supportive, but few reputable Republicans want to sign on with the president after seeing the chaotic first months of his administration.
“The talent pool is shrinking, because who wants to sign up for crazy?” said Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
“Nobody wants to step into a situation where you’re flying by the seat of your pants and don’t know whether what you just said will hold up from one news cycle to the next,” he added. “Nobody is going to be lining up for positions with that much uncertainty.”
He's going to end up with a White House staffed by Pepe boys, recently paroled convicts, and hobos from behind the D.C. Greyhound station. https://t.co/hbrJJPiAhC
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 31, 2017
Elise Jordan, a political analyst for MSNBC and former Bush White House and State Department aide, said Wednesday that Trump’s unpredictable behavior almost certainly drained morale among his staffers.
“I cannot imagine a worse place to work,” Jordan said.
White House communications director Michael Dubke abruptly resigned ahead of Trump’s overseas trip, although he stayed on until the president returned.
Finding a replacement might take some time, since the president frequently blows up his communication team’s strategies with tweets or public comments.
“Hell no!” one Republican told Buzzfeed when asked about taking over for Dubke. “That would be career suicide.”
Another GOP operative, whose spouse works in the Trump administration, burst into laughter when asked about taking over Dubke’s job.
“Sorry, I’m sorry,” the source said, stifling back laughter. “Oh, you’re being serious? Oh my god, I’m crying of laughter — why would anyone in their right mind want to be his communications director?”
Reince Priebus has been rumored to be on the outs as chief of staff almost since the day he got the job over Steve Bannon, who was instead named chief strategist.
“I have never seen it before where people came in to work in the West Wing and had never met the president — it’s unheard of,” one former Trump adviser told Politico. “There are plenty of people who would give both arms to have one of these jobs. What they need is a chief of staff or someone else with a Rolodex of 5,000 names and a broad network to come clean this up.”
His critics have suggested GOP operative David Urban or Andy Card, who served as White House chief of staff for six years under George W. Bush, as possible replacements.
Gary Cohn, the current White House economic adviser, has also been floated as a possibility.
But some Republicans believe it’s too late to save the Trump administration from its self-inflicted wounds.
“Coming on board now is a bit like taking over communications for the White Star Line after the Titanic has sunk,” a former George W. Bush staffer told Buzzfeed. “I mean, no one is going to blame you and how much worse can it possibly get?”