Phew! It’s been quite the weekend here! Life has been busy, but also promising, rewarding and fantastic. Apparently, as I was out living life, a lot happened in the world! So, let’s catch up!
Today, President-elect Trump made his first two major appointments to the next version of the Executive Branch: Reince Priebus, as Chief of Staff, and Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor.
Now, the selection of Priebus as Chief of Staff is not surprising to me at all. Having most recently served as RNC Chairman, Priebus spent the last election cycle building the “ground game” that proved to be a success for Trump’s candidacy, and was one of candidates Trump’s loudest, and more noticeably one of few, Republican establishment, supporters.
Most surprisingly about this appointment, in my opinion, is how much of Priebus’ current and future success was tied to Trump’s successful candidacy. If candidate Trump had not became President-elect Trump, I fear that Priebus’ would have soon been replaced as RNC Chairman. I tend to keep a closer than normal ear to the ground with political chatter, and most chatter leading up to the election, from the Republican establishment, seemed to criticize Priebus for supporting Trump. President-elect Trump seems to not only be Priebus’ saving grace, but also his only path towards future legitimacy.
More interestingly, to me, is the official appointment of Steve Bannon to an official position within the Administration. From my perspective, as a social liberal, Bannon is a choice that strikes a bit of fear within me. Bannon has been criticized in the past as a racist and misogynist, among other things. His ultra-conservative past includes spending several years as Executive Chairman of Breitbart news. Breitbart is, most notably, the powerful online media voice of ultra conservatives. That being said, I do not have much experience pursuing their site…. I try to obtain my news from more politically neutral sources (which are becoming harder and harder to find).
My initial reactions here are telling me that Priebus’ power will be limited, initially, within the Administration. In my eyes, Bannon holds the real power. Having been a known Trump confident for years, Bannon’s opinion will carry a significant weight with President-elect Trump. Priebus’, obviously, has Trump’s confidence, but, I’m assuming, will need to continue to prove his worth in his new position.
On the other hand, Priebus’, as a member of the Republican establishment, gives the Trump administration come credibility inside on the Hill. As an outsider, candidate Trump was able to appeal to the masses. Now, on the other side of that election, President-elect Trump will find it difficult to govern without support within the government. Bridge-building at its finest here, folks.
There’s many, MANY more appointments to come. These first two, while unsurprising, seem to have set the tone for what’s to come. Building bridges, while rewarding long-time allies and reaffirming conservative ideals.