Let’s just start this report off by saying that any talk of prospective cabinet appointments in the next presidency are almost entirely vaporware designed to generate some headlines and keep the hoi polloi amused until we know who’s actually going to be doing the appointing. Still, some Trump staffers went on background to talk to reporters about the shortlist of names who might be getting well heeled positions if The Donald transitions to President Donald Trump. The majority of these probably won’t be terribly surprising to anyone who has followed the circus of surrogates which surrounds both campaigns.
Donald Trump’s cabinet-in-waiting is taking shape in the final days of the race, as aides eye a number of Trump loyalists for major posts should he win on Tuesday.
Among the names being considered, according to conversations with three campaign advisers who requested anonymity to speak freely: Rudy Giuliani for attorney general, Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn for defense secretary or national security adviser, Trump finance chairman Steve Mnuchin for Treasury secretary, and Republican National Committee finance chair Lew Eisenberg for commerce secretary…
Campaign insiders say they’re focused on winning first and foremost as well and no decisions have been made or positions finalized. There are also some possible roadblocks: Flynn, for example, would not be eligible for secretary of defense without a waiver from Congress; the post requires that appointees be out of the military for seven years.
With the exception of Flynn these are largely Trump loyalists who have carried his message for quite a while now, mixed in with some people from Donald’s own financial empire who he obviously trusts. Giuliani and Gingrich in particular have been swimming against the current and filling cable news airtime with pro-Trump messages. But it’s Rudy Giuliani in particular who will probably be drawing a lot of attention. You’ll notice that he’s being listed as the likely choice to replace Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. You may recall that there was somebody else who was very, very interested in that job and his name is Chris Christie.
When reporters asked their sources about the Big Man from New Jersey they were told, “It’s not clear Christie is being considered for a significant role in a potential administration.”
Ouch. That’s got to sting. Christie stands out in my memory as perhaps the one person who suffered the most brutal attacks in the press for his early support of Donald Trump and he was rewarded with what truly appeared to be one humiliating episode after another as he performed his duties as a surrogate. (That’s all I needed, Chris. You can get on the plane and go home.)
Still, with his abbreviated speaking duties concluded, Christie went on to dutifully begin planning Trump’s transition team and paving the path for the new president’s entry to the Oval Office. But later those duties seemed to fall more on the shoulders of Jeff Sessions, who may be in line for a spot in a potential Trump administration himself.
The other interesting name on the list is Reince Priebus. What might he be offered? Trump’s chief of staff. It’s unclear whether he’d have any interest in such a grueling post even if it were offered, though. It’s true that the POTUS Chief of Staff is an incredibly powerful person but it’s the sort of thing which largely takes place behind the scenes. Would Reince want to trade being the face of the Republican Party for a generally 16 hour per day (minimum) job putting out fires in the back room? Let’s just say I’d be surprised.
Of course if he does turn it down, Chris Christie might be available.