As Bob Dylan sang so eloquently, “The times they are a changin.'” Indeed they are, as President-elect Donald Trump begins to put his White House staff together. They are unlikely to be who Hillary voters would approve of, but in a democracy, change is a part of our Constitution of laws. The White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel are at the top of the hierarchy.
The real estate billionaire mogul and soon to be president in 68 days, announced Sunday that Reince Priebus as his chief of staff. Stephen Bannon serves as chief strategist and senior counselor.
Priebus may be a brilliant choice to help heal Trump’s many non-believers in the Republican Party. It sends out a notice that his administration will be inclusive and one that strives to heal old political wounds from the very beginning.
Reince Priebus is little-known outside his own party, the party chairman from Wisconsin, while Bannon was chief executive officer of Trump’s campaign. Both are solid choices in forming a united White House staff intimately familiar with Trump.
Unlike President Obama’s first White House Chief of Staff, now Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, Priebus will be a non-contentious chief of staff, mindful that 50 percent of the country did not vote for his new boss. Emanuel came storming into Obama’s White House, alienating Republican lawmakers with his flamboyant and often offending style.
Bannon previously served as the chairman of Breitbart News, the “alt-right” news site that supported Trump’s bid. It is another signal that things in Washington will be far different come January 20, 2017. In a prepared statement Sunday, Donald Trump said, “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”
Bannon said he looked forward to continue working with Priebus after the election victory.
“We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda,” Bannon said in a statement.
For his part, Priebus said his appointment was “truly an honor” to serve the President-elect. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism,” he said. “He will be a great President for all Americans.”
The next few days and weeks will see Trump selecting top posts such as secretary of State, attorney general, defense secretary and homeland security. We already know Chris Christie is out of the running.
Many names are being tossed around in the media, including Gingrich, Giuliani, Sessions, Flynn and others. One need only look at Trump’s actual campaign to the White House to be assured there will be surprises.