Categorized | Opinion

I Love Trump’s Picks: Reince Priebus Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon as Strategist

I am no fan of Reince Priebus. And I believe that during the Republican Primary he was not always fair to Donald Trump. Trump received extra scrutiny on singing the pledge that he would support the nominee. Not so much because Priebus gave a rip, but because the rest of the candidates feared a Trump third party bid.

And after all the hoopla about Trump and the Pledge, it turns out that many of the Republican presidential wannabees broke that very pledge. Now had things turned out differently and Trump was not the nominee, would Priebus and the rest of the GOP establishment (yes, Priebus is establishment) have been as silent if Trump failed to honor the pledge as they were about the rest of the GOP defectors? Cruz, Bush, Graham et al?

Of course not. Priebus would have been the GOP ringleader trashing Trump. I think very few would disagree with that.

But I noticed a swift about face when Trump won the nomination on the part of GOP Chairman Reince Priebus. He got behind the Party nominee and other than his disappointing statement on the decade ole Trump tapes recorded in secret (by a Bush, no less), he did his job.

Now I would have liked to have seen a different pick for Chief of Staff from Trump. But this is Trump’s call. And Trump has a solid reputation for surrounding himself with outstanding people. He has a knack for spotting that something in people that will prove to serve him well. So while I personally would preferred someone else as Chief of Staff, I think we need to defer to The Donald on this.

Most of us would like a more rabid anti establishment gatekeeper in the White House, but we have to remember. Everything with Donald Trump is a negotiation. I have reminded my friends many times that when Trump says something or does something outrageous, it is often the opening round in a negotiation. If you have not read his book The Art of the Deal then you need to do so if you want to understand him.

And you also need to think in Trump’s terms. He has just completed negotiations on two big deals this year. The first was the GOP Nomination. And the second was the general election. And he has started on his third big deal of 2016, his assumption of the office of President of the United States.

Look back on the personnel changes that occurred during the primary and the general election. He put people in place, they served a purpose and then he rearranged the players. And he closed both deals and won by a lot, as he likes to say. Some see the moves as getting rid of a bad player and replacing them with a better player. And that may be the case, but every time he changes pawns he gets to redefine, or refine, his strategy. It is a process that looks a lot like chaos, but i Trump’s world, it is controlled chaos with a specific goal in mind. And while the rest of the world focuses on the chaos and shuffling going on on the one hand, Trump is doing something completely different with the other hand. He is a master at that. And people often underestimate him. And he takes full advantage of that. It is like blitzing Tom Brady. He will make you pay.

So while many of us would like to have seen a purebred bulldog at the Trump gateway to help drain the swamp by force, it looks like Trump has opened this third negotiation with finesse. Priebus is an insider who has the ear of the Establishment Republicans. And he is a nice, easy going guy, so the Democrats really don’t have an arsenal to go after Reince with, like they would, say, Stephen Bannon. And in case you haven’t noticed, while the Republicans have the majority in both Houses of Congress, the GOP Senators and Representatives are not overwhelmingly pro-Trump.

But most of them like Priebus.

With this pick, Trump is setting up the pieces for his third 2016 negotiation. Bannon is the bull dog. Priebus is the messenger. Trump needs to manipulate a lot of Republicans. And if his point man was the bull dog, the negotiations will turn south in a hurry. To get what he wants done, Trump is going to need the full support and cooperation of the Republicans in Congress as well some of the Democrats. With his first two picks, Trump split the baby in half. Us “drain the swamppers” got red meat and the Rino’s and Establishment got what they want. Granted, nobody is exactly thrilled with both picks, but pretty much everyone is happy with at least one. And somehow Trump kept both babies alive.

And we get instant good cop, bad cop.

Trump will fail without broad support. So I personally think his first pair of appointments were both brilliant. And I am beginning to see his strategy develop.

Trump also has a history of turning antagonists and competitors into strong friends and advocates. I consider Paul Ryan to be a Rat. A classless Speaker and someone who is on the wrong side of history. But keeping him on a Speaker is something I fully expect Trump to do. And keeping McConnell in the Senate too. Neither of these two supported the Party Nominee and my instinct is to punish them both. But these guys understand that Trump can make them both stars. Or he can break them.

They will both stay and they will both choose to be stars.

There will be many more appointments to come. And Trump will appoint a number of people that will cause his strongest supporters to question his judgement.

All I can say is what I have said since the begging.

Watch and learn. Trump is a master at winning people over. He knows how to turn adversaries into adoring allies. He knows exactly which buttons to push to win them over, be it greed, power, or simply a strong desire to keep Trump from stepping on them. And his history shows once he has them in his corner, they remain loyal.

I am inclined to let Trump work his magic. We all know that when they serve their purpose, become useless or are no longer needed, Trump will not hesitate to push them aside. But, damn, even then they remain loyal.

Even his ex’s.


About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

6 Responses to “I Love Trump’s Picks: Reince Priebus Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon as Strategist”

  1. Michael Hiteshew says:

    I think Priebus was a strategic pick to act as the primary interface between the WH and the Congressional GOP leadership. Were it me, I might have made Newt Ginrich CoS for a similar reason, so why pick Priebus when Gingrich is right there? My guess it that Ryan and McConnell see Priebus as their guy. He’s their eyes and ears and voice inside the WH. He’s the price Donald paid for Ryan and McConnell to buy into passing his agenda, and Trump clearly felt that was a fair price.

  2. Gene Lefty says:

    1) Where are the buses that are needed to transport the illegals home?
    2) Who has the matches to burn trade deals with?
    3) When do we spank Communist China and Ford with tariff taxes?

    Bannon and Priebus will be at each if they aren’t already. Priebus got the power. One will have to go.

  3. robert shannon

    Yet another excellent analysis Tom ! Trump knows and understands people, something I am certain his late father taught him at an early age, and a skill set he honed over decades of battling & negotiating with the very tough New York City development world. The recommendation to read the Art of the Deal book is sound advice for anyone who doubts the skills mentioned above.

    A good summary to buffer the point would be to look closely at the field of seasoned pols he had to run against, the media’s clear documented bias and the money thrown away in an effort to stop him succeeding. None of it worked.

    Trump is indeed a force onto himself and DC and the American people are about to watch a real master in how to get things done. Conservatives might not like some of his picks as Tom notes, but the observation that he either turns them into allies ……or steps on them is astute indeed .

    Bob Shannon King William

  4. lawrence wood says:

    Putting Priebus in this role sends an unmistakable clear message to a significant segment of the establishment Republican Congress that Ryan will be satisfactory as Speaker of the House in the Trump administration. It in effect props up Paul Ryan when he was clearly on the ropes with the conservative and non establishment membership regarding his upcoming vote to retain the job, given his lack of support for Trump throughout the presidential campaign cycle.

    Ryan has already been on the Sunday talk show circuits defining what Trump’s immigration policies “really’ mean (e.g. border security but not necessarily deportation) before the new president has spent a day in office or addressed the American people in his new position. He is working an agenda but it’s his agenda and that of his fellow congressional associates that support the globalist trade position and it’s open immigration policies.

    This is a MAJOR mistake without a foot yet in the door. This Congress has had two full majority cycles to address the issues the American voter put them in place to accomplish and did not undertake a “single” effective effort to repeal or modify anything. Ryan after promising a return to “normal order” in the House rejected that commitment and we are for the second time under his leadership looking at an omnibus budget bill or yet another continuing resolution vote.

    The messages the Trump team is sending into Congress reeks of “business as usual or at least many are interpreting them as such in my opinion. Several members are drumming up support in the new Congressional rules session to be voted on near term to actually bring back pork barrel legislation that former Speaker Boehner banned over two years ago.

    President Trump’s assumption that dealing in the political world is very much like negotiating the “art of the deal” in the corporate environment is just plain bogus. Corporate executives don’t come to the table with a political ideology that can often override common self interest or reasonable cooperative bargaining. In the corporate world the balance sheet drives decisions and behavior. When was the last time anyone can point to an example of financial benefit or profit and loss analysis driving a political decision out of the beltway. If this indeed is going to be his base negotiating assumption both domestically and overseas then he is in for some surprises and rough seas.

    One poor staffing decision doesn’t make or break a new administration but this one in particular has emboldened those in my opinion the would like to just spin out Trump’s first 100 days and restrict any impact he may have on their comfortable environment to revoking as many of Obama’s executive orders as possible. Not a bad achievement but far from the fundamental change he committed to the American people during his campaign. To address real change he will need a working Congress to line up and if he believes he can accomplish that solely through reasonable corporate like negotiation efforts he is on a fools errand. The establishment political ifers fear one thing and one thing only and that is the re-election ballot box.

    Therefore I have to disagree with your assessment that this was a good choice. He has made a mistake that will make his job more difficult and the one thing Trump needs to completely understand that the “movement” he so often refers too in his speeches and discussions is not “Donald Trump”, it was there before he came on the scene and if he can not bring his commitments to the American people it will still be there when he is gone.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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