#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor
This is not surprising:
Under normal circumstances, running the White House communications shop would be a dream job for any political operative.
But Donald Trump is the president and the circumstances aren’t normal. He regularly calls his own shots on Twitter, often bypassing aides in favor of unfiltered and unpredictable messaging. That may make the applicant pool to replace Mike Dubke, who on Tuesday announced his resignation as Trump’s communications director, very small.
BuzzFeed News spoke with 20 Republican communicators and operatives, many of whom have worked on Capitol Hill and in presidential campaigns and some who have declined previous offers to join the Trump administration. Nearly all said they would be unwilling to accept an offer to replace Dubke.
“Hell no!” said one Republican—one of the most common types of response BuzzFeed News got from operatives. “That would be career suicide.”
The Buzzfeed report comes with four bylines, in case anyone is counting.
To the other, it is hardly a scoop; reporters for the New York Times and Politico thought to ask around, as well. Steve Benen reminds it is an obvious question insofar as he took a moment to recall—noting, “it looks like I may have understated matters”—his own inquiry on the point yesterday. Looking forward, he suggests:
I’m not even sure what a White House communications director is supposed to do in an environment like this. While Dubke no doubt tried his best, Team Trump’s communications strategies may have been carefully crafted masterpieces, only to be derailed by an impulsive president who enjoys publishing self-destructive tweets.
The mystery isn’t why Dubke only lasted three months; it’s why he didn’t run away sooner.
There is probably a certain amount of disbelief involved. It is one thing to witness the spectacle as we do from afar, but something about the idea that this is the American government seems to require a certain gravity, so it has probably been easy enough for those who draw close to believe they could find, in the Trump White House, some sane avenue by which they might be able to achieve some subtantive progress, or at least some observable utility.
And it is certainly easy enough to observe such dysfunction and convince ourselves this is #WhatTheyVotedFor.
Image note: Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP Photo.
Baker, Peter and Maggie Haberman. “As Trump Weighs Shake-Up, He Faces Recruiting Challenge”. The New York Times. 30 May 2017.
Benen, Steve. “Top White House position now seen as ‘career suicide'”. msnbc. 31 May 2017.
—————. “White House communications director quits after just three months”. msnbc. 30 May 2017.
Gomez, Henry J., Parti Tarini, Adrian Carrasquillo, and Steven Perlberg. “No One Wants The Big White House Job That Just Opened Up”. BuzzFeed. 30 May 2017.
Restuccia, Andrew and Josh Dawsey. “Russia probe scares off potential appointees”. Politico. 31 May 2017.