It looks like Donald Trump has chosen RNC head Reince Priebus as his chief of staff.
Reince Priebus will be chief of staff, source who spoke to Trump tells me. Announcement could come in the next half hour
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 13, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: RNC Chair Reince Priebus to be named President-elect Trump's chief of staff, sources tell Fox News
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 13, 2016
The announcement has gotten a variety of reaction across the GOP, with Ana Navarro thanking God “for small favors,” while Trump loyalist Roger Stone suggested rebellion within Trump’s ranks would happen. Several other alt-Right groups have also expressed their displeasure on Twitter, by pointing out Priebus’ positions on immigration, etc. This could be why Fox News is reporting Trump is going to be bringing Steve Bannon to the White House.
MORE: Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon expected to be named Senior Counselor to the President
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 13, 2016
It’s Trump’s way of “building bridges,” I guess, while also making sure he sticks to his “populist roots.” POLITICO also notes it’s a similar struggle President Barack Obama went through in 2008.
When a freshly elected Barack Obama picked a famously aggressive veteran of the Clinton administration and Capitol Hill as his first White House chief of staff, he said it was because “no one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel.”
It was a signal that the cerebral Obama, despite his dreamy campaign rhetoric, knew he needed a pitbull in his corner — a foul-mouthed enforcer who would muscle through the new president’s agenda by any means necessary.
CNN thinks Trump could be trying to have it both ways.
The choice Trump now faces is one between two competing impulses — both within his own mind and in the circle of advisers he listens to — to fill the ranks of his White House with the hard-right figures who propelled his campaign to victory or the more establishment figures he will need to enact his policies in Washington.
This is probably why plenty of party brass were willing to support Trump, even when he savaged them during the campaign. There were Republicans who believed Trump would be “flexible” enough to be modeled into the kind of president they want to see. It’s completely possible this could happen, but Trump is obviously making sure his “base” is okay with Bannon as “Senior Counselor.” How Trump will pick others to serve in his administration will also show what kind of administration he’ll have, and whether he’ll actually stick to the promises he made on the campaign.
Trump’s pick of Priebus is probably not a bad thing, because it does show he’s willing to go along with the legislative process. The question will be what happens if and when Congress says no to a piece of legislation Trump wants passed. Will Trump be willing to accept the results or will he decide to do things through “supreme executive power.” Kevin D. Williamson at National Review believes it’s great Democrats remembered how bad a “strong president” is.
The pretensions of the imperial presidency are going to haunt Democrats for the immediate future, but they’ll quickly rediscover their belief in limits on the executive. While they’re rediscovering old virtues, they might take a moment to lament Senator Harry Reid’s weakening of the filibuster, an ancient protection of minority interests in the less democratic house of our national legislature. They might also lament Senator Reid’s attempt to gut the First Amendment in order to permit the federal government — which in January will be under the management of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and — incredibly enough — President Donald Trump — to regulate political speech, deciding who can speak, about what and when, and on what terms. Perhaps they’ll thank those wicked “conservative” justices on the Supreme Court for saving basic political-speech rights. If they are smart, they will rediscover federalism, too, and the peacemaking potential of a school of thought that says in a diverse nation of 320 million souls, there is no reason that life in rural Idaho must be lived in exactly the same way as it is in Brooklyn or Santa Monica. As Charles C. W. Cooke pointed out, the same people who until ten minutes ago denounced federalism — which they mischaracterize as the doctrine of “states’ rights” — as an instrument for the suppression of African Americans are now embracing secession, which, in the American context at least, has a little bit of its own racial baggage.
We’ll just have to see how it turns out.