The New York Times reports: “Busy day planned in New York,” President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Twitter on Friday morning, two days after his astonishing victory. “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government!”
If anything, that understates the gravity of the personnel choices Mr. Trump and his transition team are weighing.
Rarely in the history of the American presidency has the exercise of choosing people to fill jobs had such a far-reaching impact on the nature and priorities of an incoming administration. Unlike most new presidents, Mr. Trump comes into office with no elective-office experience, no coherent political agenda and no bulging binder of policy proposals. And he has left a trail of inflammatory, often contradictory, statements on issues from immigration and race to terrorism and geopolitics.
In such a chaotic environment, serving a president who is in many ways a tabula rasa, the appointees to key White House jobs like chief of staff and cabinet posts like secretary of state, defense secretary and Treasury secretary could wield outsize influence. Their selection will help determine whether the Trump administration governs like the firebrand Mr. Trump was on the campaign trail or the pragmatist he often appears to be behind closed doors. [Continue reading…]