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Friday, December 09, 2016

The Cabinet President Trump builds

President Trump is a CEO, granted a celebrity CEO like Jack Welch (former GE boss) and Lee Iaccoca (former Chrysler boss), but a CEO nonetheless -- as I have been saying. This is why the political press keeps missing him. They see him as a politician, which is why they are so incompetent at commenting on his Cabinet selections.

With Trump, you have to see the Big Picture. This is a guy who looks at a vacant lot and imagines a skyscraper. Analyzing each decision in isolation leads to frustration.

So what does The Donald want to do?
1. Protect the nation.
2. Fix the economy.
3. Downsize government.
You have to divide appointments along those lines.

To protect the nation, you bring in the experts. Thus you have the three generals heading the Defense and Homeland Security departments, and as his national security advisor. Mike Pompeo at CIA is a West Pointer. Trump told us last year he would ask the generals for a plan to beat terrorism. Boom. There they are.

To fix the economy, you bring in the experts. Thus you have the billionaire CEOs club: Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Linda McMahon, Andrew F. Puzder (maybe), and others to be named later.

To downsize government, you bring in the experts. Thus you have politicians: Dr. Price overseeing the replacement for Obamacare. Scott Pruitt comes in from Oklahoma to rein in the EPA. Elaine Chao at transportation.

Two non-politicians are also in that mix: Betsy DeVos to reform education. Dr. Carson to do the same at HUD.

And while Jeff Sessions is a politician, I don't think downsizing is what Trump has in mind for him as attorney general. He is going to be draining swamps.

Other appointments are not clear to me right now. Nikki Haley at the UN? Terry Branstad to China? Good people but their role will be clearer once we get a Secretary of State.

Trump is building a Team of Competents. They will be given wide latitude, but a short leash. That is how a well-trained, experienced, and disciplined CEO operates. You have to look beyond the nosegay and Tweetsto see what is obvious: Trump is good at running a wide-flung company.

Lewandowsky, Manafort, and Flynn's son were all let go when they hit a controversy. President Trump uses controversy as a tool, so he does not want any competition from his staff. Notice how Pence does a lot of stuff, quietly. He is the COO.

You can nitpick the choices, but look at the broad picture first. Trump wants people who know what the hell they are doing. He will assign them tasks and expect results.

It is called normal. The political press is not used to this stuff. They think he is crazy for doing things this way.


Have a little fun. Read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

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  1. It sounds like he's putting together a pack of hunting dogs. Sic 'em! - Elric

  2. His Tweets operate the same way. He tweets outrageous things that the left and some jerk Republicans pick up and comment on, then Trump gets to what he really wants. Negotiations. Case in point. Tariffs on goods made by American companies that go overseas. He knows that he is not going to get them, but then the Republicans after gnashing teeth about the tweets come up with the idea that lowering taxes and getting rid of regs will work better. So now Trump will really get what he wants - Republicans really pushing lower taxes and fewer regs, which Rep have given lip service to in the past.

  3. It has to be troubling to the left that academicians and think tank residents are not going to be running things (into the ground).

  4. The media is incapable of understanding anyone who doesn't think as they do.
    Academicians and think-tankers don't understand the doing of things, and the difficulties therein.
    Neither group can understand Trump. Their minds, such as they are, are boggled.

  5. Trump is transitioning from campaigning to governing.

  6. Trump is a product of the real world. The journalists and others are just onlookers to a world they have no experience with and cannot understand. The fact that Trump can bypass them only shows how insignificant they really are.

  7. Trump is going to fix the economy with billionaires? LOL! Yep, Trump said on the campaign trail that all those corrupt Wall Streeters (Repub-establishments)should hope he doesn't get elected. You know, like Steven Mnuchin: A second-generation Goldman Sachs partner, former George Soros employee and co-investor, and hedge fund manager.
    And now word is that he is going to appoint Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to head the National Economic Council. Laughable.
    Hey Don - better go back and delete all your posts that crucified Goldman Sachs and their ilk for what they have done to this country as you promoted Trump. Then there is another Wall Street insider in Wilbur Ross for secretary of commerce. Bet the folks with ties to Sago Mine are not too happy about that. Yep those billionaires know exactly what we common folk need. Can't wait for his Dept of Ed billionaire pick who has fervently lobbied for private school vouchers but had zero Education background starts to clean up public education.
    Trump's picks are non-conventional. That's a given. Do they make sense? Please.

    1. Where is that awful smell coming from?

    2. Wall Streeters mostly went with Hillary, as I recall. And Obama before her.

    3. Don Surber in his own words: "Goldman Sachs invests in people -- powerful people -- politicians in both parties.

      This is not new. This is how political parties used to run, by men in smoke-filled backrooms deciding the fate of the nation. We became enlightened in the 1970s and switched to primaries and caucuses. Now dark forces on both sides -- Hillary and Ted Cruz in particular (remember Colorado) -- wish to return to that.

      Besides being untrustworthy lawyers, what else do Hillary and Cruz share in common? Goldman Sachs. His wife works for them. What did I say earlier?

      Trump may be our last hope. I wish there were someone better. But if he loses, the nefarious forces who now back Hillary will sweep back in and demand Republicans bring back the superdelegates. That's the whole game behind Never Trump."

      Yep, draining that swamp .... NOT.

  8. The MSM does not seem to know much - or refuses to, simply because it's Trump - about the world that CEOs inhabit: risk-taking, growing a business, competing on costs, revenue and profits and the immense pressure to manage stock prices that comes with that, why leveraging borrowed cash to do all of that only makes sense during a time of expected growth with a climate of reduced regulations, etc. Just no clue at all. The MSM only understands government, meaning zero incentive to control costs or improve efficiency, since budgets are guaranteed with taxpayer cash, and there is no such thing as a recession or the idea of belt-tightening with a down market or declining market share, so spend every penny every fiscal year, no matter what!

    The worlds are diametrically opposed. It's no coincidence that the only news channel I can stand to watch lately is Fox Business.

    1. Jeff, that is an extremely intelligent comment. My last boss, who worked at Merrill, UBS, Pru, and a few others, used to tell me when I worked for FINRA, Kelly, I treat the company's money as if it were my own. Donald will do the same thing.

    2. Zman, thanks. The various reactions to some of these A+ appointments are very revealing, eh?

      People think they're making a courageous stand against tyranny, but all I hear is "I'm clueless and you can safely ignore me forevermore". Thanks for clearing that up, dipstick!

  9. I suspect Nikki Haley has been appointed to the U.N. to get her out of the way, so that South Carolinians can have a Republican governor who isn't a RINO.

  10. The world is safer with Trump than it would ever have been with Clinton.

    Clinton's instability would've freaked the hell out of Putin. An obviously nervous and inexperienced person holding a gun has a special menace all of its own.

  11. Suggest that, instead of calling it a "Team of Competents", you refer to it as a "Table of Knowledge".

    Just to remind those schmucks of the MSM that in the Trump White House, even the furniture is smarter than they are.

  12. Offering Haley the UN spot promotes the Trump backing Lt. Gov. Looks gracious to a critic, puts "diversity" in UN, rewards supporter and since Haley was almost out of a job anyway, buys some good will.

    If there is a pattern on ambassadors, as with China, it's picking people who actually personally know the head of the country. Not some milqutoast pinstriped pants dimplomat. But a personal friend who can go see the country's leader just 'cuz, and can pull them aside and go, "Dude, we really need to talk." That is artistry in the making.

  13. I am disturbed by his Goldman Sachs picks. They will undermine him at every turn because their first allegiance will always be to Goldman Sachs. What is Trump thinking?

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