BREAKING: me + @jdawsey1 confirm WSJ report. Meadows out of COS mix, POTUS wants him to stay in Congresss.
Stmt from @PressSec: MM "is a great friend to [POTUS] and is doing an incredible job… The Pres told him we need him in Congress so he can continue the great work…"
— Robert Costa (@costareports) December 12, 2018
… casts a harsh and unflattering glow:
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) December 9, 2018
On the very short list of chiefs of staff who would be worse than Meadows are: Gohmert, Gaetz, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Jordan, Lou Hobbs, Geraldo and Lassie. And of this group, Lassie is by far the best choice.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) December 9, 2018
The new attention hasn’t been particularly flattering to refusnik Nick Ayers, either…
Excuse me. Why are we pretending it's normal and totally not suspicious that 36-year-old Nick Ayres made $54 million through political "consulting."
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) December 10, 2018
From Vanity Fair, “A Top Trump Insider Appears to Conclude That the White House Is Doomed”:
… In his home state of Georgia, it is no secret that Ayers has been considered a potential candidate for governor. Certainly, he has the resources—in the range of $12 million to $55 million, according to public filings—and the self-regard to step out of the shadows. Back in 2011, at the Republican Governors Association, Ayers famously abandoned his boss, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to join Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign. Ben Smith, who obtained a copy of Ayers’s long-winded e-mail announcing the move, noted that it read like “he’s the one who will be running for president” instead of Pawlenty. (A classic Ayers line: “Over the past six months, I have prayed deeply about my purpose in life and how best to utilize the talents God has given me . . . As He often does in walks of faith, He has called me to a higher purpose.”) Stepping into the chief of staff role also would have forced Ayers to disclose how, exactly, he made his fortune as a political consultant—sometime West Wing insiders say Ayers wanted to avoid.
Even so, Ayers’s exit is remarkable, considering his laborious ascent up the greasy White House totem pole. For years, he worked as Pence’s chief political strategist in Indiana, where Pence served as governor before joining the presidential ticket. During the transition, Ayers endeared himself to Trump officials, including members of the president-elect’s family, forging close relationships with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Once in the White House, he was quickly promoted to Pence’s chief of staff, putting him in frequent contact with President Trump himself. As my colleague Gabriel Sherman has reported, Trump’s kids saw Ayers as one of them—unctuous, politically savvy, nakedly ambitious—and thus pegged him as the president’s best hope at re-election. “They think he’s savvy,” a person close to the couple told Sherman. The thinking inside Trumpworld was that Ayers would be the perfect inside man to coordinate the White House side of the 2020 campaign. “We’re going to be at loggerheads in Congress, and we have to get Trump re-elected. Nick understands politics,” another former West Wing official explained.
That he decided to walk away suggests Ayers had a particularly dim view of Trump’s political prospects. Ayers, after all, has a high risk tolerance: despite pressure to divest his interest in his consulting firm, he declined to relinquish his ties to his company, creating a web of potential multi-million-dollar conflicts of interest. (As Pence’s chief of staff, Ayers had a major say in which midterm candidates the White House supported.) Yet Ayers assessed the downsides of becoming White House chief of staff—once among the most respected, powerful, and coveted jobs in Washington—and his instincts for self-preservation kicked in…
The list doesn’t improve as new names are proposed. Per the Washington Post:
… Two names being floated late Wednesday by top Trump aides include acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker, who was with the president at last weekend’s Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, and former Trump deputy campaign manager David N. Bossie, who is scheduled to have lunch with Trump on Friday, according to White House officials. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie continues to have boosters pushing for him inside the White House….
Trump advisers cautioned that the president is unpredictable and to not call anyone a front-runner. Trump told advisers on Tuesday that he liked the guessing game surrounding the position, and the number of names out there showed that people were interested in the position and in joining his administration.
“We have a lot of people that want the job, chief of staff,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, noting that he could take the remainder of the month to decide…
David Bossie, of Citizens United infamy. Corey Lewandowski thinks he’s the right (made) man for the job! On the other hand, Javanka hates him!
Good news for the Democrats, from the reality-show “president”. How many more Repub reputations can he (further) soil before the clock runs down?
Some people Trump’s considering for chief of staff would come at a cost. Lighthizer leading trade negotiations w China. Mulvaney trying to prevent budget fights. Whitaker oversees Mueller probe.
Trump wants a chief with political acumen. Christie fits…https://t.co/X6JMa3Od9Q
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) December 10, 2018
I assume even Chris Christie isn’t desperate enough to jump at this bait any more… but I’d be curious to see whether he chooses to publicly insult the GOP’s Dear Figurehead, at this point in time. Just as another leading indicator.
Son of a… pic.twitter.com/8nCP1sljHo
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) December 13, 2018