Personnel is policy, Richard Nixon’s budget chief Michael Horowitz remarked after the 1972 election, when the re-elected incumbent asked for resignations from two thousand of his appointees. The OMB director meant that the direction of any administration could best be determined by the people hired by its leader. Based on the key appointments made thus far by the new President-elect, America should prepare itself for a new conservative era – and an about-face from the last eight years.
Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 by promising “hope and change” to a nation weary of the George W. Bush presidency, the war in Iraq, and the financial-sector collapse that demolished hundreds of thousands of jobs a month leading up to the election. Eight years later, Republicans now control the House, Senate, a record number of state legislatures and Donald Trump has won a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton. Voters have rejected the Obama era –- and Trump’s key personnel choices promise to deliver change for them in 2017 in nearly every policy arena.