It’s no secret Donald Trump’s campaign and original White House staff was made up of what can best be described as a hodgepodge of questionable talent in staff and leadership. Clearly those on the front line from the beginning were relentless in their efforts, which combined with the right candidate at the right time in history made all the difference in the world but enough already with amateur hour. We need professionals not reality t.v. stars and want to be celebrities working in the White House.
The challenge however was that many lacked the professionalism or experience that would generally be required in a national election and the fallout from their flying by the seat of their pants has continued to be felt on a regular basis. Unforced errors that experienced campaign and policy experts would have prevented, or altogether seen coming, have haunted the administration since its earliest days.
The problem: The republican primary had so many talented and well known candidates that most A-list, experienced, well known and well respected campaign staff went to others before Trump got into the race. Very few people, including myself, took Trump’s candidacy seriously and most people around the process heaped on the criticism of Trump’s unorthodox and unconventional style and messaging.
So when the dust settled and Trump won the primary there were few people untainted with on the record comments or public declarations publicly speaking out about Trump. This left few people with the ability to integrate into his and his leaderships circle of trust for the general election or more importantly to move into critical positions within the White House. Multiple candidates for jobs within both the White House and at federal agencies found themselves having offers receded once Trump loyalists found disparaging remarks critical of him months and even years old.
That brings me to today, where the issue of Trump’s staff is back at the center of conversation due to Omarosa Manigault-Newman’s wild claims about the White House and the president while out promoting her upcoming book. She’s been on a tear about the goings on at 1600 Penn. Not that a week has gone by without something in the press about White House staff or members of the president’s cabinet. The media coverage has been relentless as incredibly high staff turnover, as reported by the Associated Press, has given them a lot to run with.
Manigault-Newman’s not just stirring the pot with her outlandish claims and the bad guy persona that everyone is used to seeing from her in her reality t.v. appearances — she’s breached one of the most fundamental staff qualities found in politics: loyalty. People within the political process know that trust is so critical to the job that even when you work with or for people you lose trust in, you recognize that you need to respect the office and the institution you’re working for and when your time is up you bow out gracefully. There is no higher honor than to be able to work in the West Wing of the White House. Though to even to be in the EEOB or in an executive position at an agency and to be able to influence national policy one is an honor. When Omarosa recorded her termination by John Kelly, as well as at least one conversation with the president himself, she crossed a line that she can never recover from and she proved that she never respected the people around her or the opportunity she was given.