by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A week of bad headlines spawned by Omarosa Manigault Newman has once again called into question one of President Trump’s top campaign assertions: that he hires only the best people. …
… There are several reasons Trump has had trouble delivering on this promise.
Not enough Trump true believers in Washington
Karl Rove was with President George W. Bush in Texas. Valerie Jarrett was with President Barack Obama in Chicago. Kellyanne Conway was working for a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC in the same cycle when Trump was elected president (she had previously advised Trump campaigns for president and governor in 2012 and 2014, respectively, that never got off the ground).
Trump came to the White House with fewer entrenched political relationships than most recent presidents. …
… The pitfalls of populism
It’s easy to imagine an alternate universe in which Trump ran a more centrist campaign — something closer to his short-lived Reform Party presidential bid in 1999 — and largely staffed his administration with his friends in business. But it was the more populist Trump who flipped the industrial midwest and actually got elected president.
That made Trump’s rich friends, even loyalists like Tom Barrack, less inclined to take administration jobs, and businessmen like Gary Cohn less willing to keep them. …
… Never Trump
Opposition from conservative and Republican elites did little to block Trump’s path to the nomination and ultimately the White House. But it did deny him access to some of the party’s most seasoned operatives and strategists. …
… Trump’s own management style
Trump thrives on chaos and conflict, presides over constant turnover, can be difficult to please and leaks liberally to the press. That is going to attract a certain kind of employee — the type that might be prone to turn on the boss or write a tell-all book.