By Michael Fryzel
Regardless of who is elected president, it takes some time before that person is comfortable with the individuals they surround themselves with as cabinet officials, advisors, aides and confidants. When the newly elected president is someone who has not made public service or elective office a career, it takes a longer period of time for them to assemble the team they need to accomplish the goals they have set and keep the promises they have made.
President Trump is starting the third year of his first term in office and the revolving door of individuals coming and going in the administration continues. Over the last two years we have seen secretaries of agencies, chiefs of staff, press secretaries, national security advisors, White House counsels and other top-level individuals leave their influential and high-profile positions. Some have left voluntarily, but most at the request of the CEO of the United States.
The majority of individuals who served briefly in their positions were qualified and accomplished people. Some made mistakes in judgment and proved they were not suited for their jobs. They lost the trust of the people of this country and the person who put them in their positions. They needed to move on
Praise for Press Secretary
While the headlines and the stories most interesting to read are about those forced to leave, we rarely hear about the outstanding performance of those who remain or about their accomplishments. The number of those individuals far exceeds those that have come and gone.
One example is Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee, who may have the most difficult job in the administration. Anyone who watches the news or a White House press briefing by Ms. Huckabee will readily see that her job is not an easy one. Not only must she report on national issues and the activities of the president and First Lady, she must also answer the questions posed to her by the media. Their questions, as they should be, can be direct. But at times they have become harsh and personal. She has shown she can clearly stand up to criticism while maintaining a professional decorum. A good choice by the president of a person he trusts and can rely on.
One Person Who Stands Out
However, there is one individual who stands out as being one of the best choices President Trump has made. That person is Director of Management and Budget, former CFPB director and now Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. A former state representative, state senator and U.S. congressman, Mulvaney has brought knowledge of government and the political process to every position he has held in the Trump Administration.
In addition, having earned degrees in economics and law, he knows how the private sector and the legal system operate. Mulvaney is exactly the type of person the president needs in the high profile position of chief of staff. He brings to it the understanding of how government works and how politics are played at the highest level. He can talk to Congress, business leaders and government officials and advise the president on all types of issues.
In addition, better than anyone in the Administration, he has shown he has the president’s ear. The fight to replace him as director at CFPB was fierce and numerous high-level individuals worked to get their choice nominated. Although Mulvaney denies using any influence in getting the president to nominate Kathy Kraninger to succeed him, the selection of Ms. Kraninger can only be seen as another Mulvaney success.
Wait and See
We can only wait to see if Director Mulvaney is made permanent chief of staff at the White House. Some who see him as a threat to their status and power would prefer a less hands-on, aggressive, results-orientated person in that position. Others, concerned with the success of the president and his Administration, want him there permanently.
Director Mulvaney can make a difference and pave the way for significant accomplishments for President Trump over the next two years as the president fights to be reelected. One way to achieve that would be to fill the many remaining high level positions with individuals having the same business, government and political backgrounds and loyalty to the president as Mulvaney does.
Michael Fryzel is a former chairman of NCUA now in private practice in Chicago.