Certain truths are given. The sun rises in the East. Climate change is real. And the transition team for a new president is a messy, competitive, complicated mess. The President Elect attempts to develop a team who will implement his plans. His transition team also has desires and loyalties, both for themselves and their allies. And a large pool of people from various places imagine themselves in positions of power. It happens every four years.
But as we know, nothing about this campaign or transition is normal. At first blush it appears normal, but there is one aspect that causes me concern: the choice for Secretary of State. At this point it appears to be a race between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
It appears the job will belong to one of these two men. And it shows a split among the Republicans. Rudy’s supporters point to last March when Mitt called Don a phony and a fraud, and urged Republicans to oppose him. They believe Rudy will be loyal to Don’s agenda. Mitt’s supporters point to Rudy’s paychecks from foreign nations and claim he cannot fully advocate this county’s foreign policy while ignoring his own agenda.
But my concern is different: I’m afraid President Elect Trump is treating this as a reality show.
For over a decade before his presidential run, Don starred in a “reality show” called The Apprentice. In different seasons he pitted ordinary people and washed up celebrities against each other and personally chose the winner. The show did well because he was able to manipulate and play off the drama of people competing for his favor. It was good for the ratings but it was also good for his ego. I suspect the enjoyment he received from being the decider first gave him the idea of running for President.
And when I read the news reports of Rudy v. Mitt, I fear Don is doing the same thing. I fear that Don’s choice won’t rest on the question of who will better form and implement our foreign policy, but on who can best grovel to Don.
I hope I’m wrong.