Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Planning Ahead, Pt. II

Just in case you forgot.  “Morning Joe” gave Donald Trump a platform everyday for months before this last racist outrage and now they can’t stop talking about how he is a political monster.  It is so interesting to watch the press suddenly figure out that Trump might not be so entertaining anymore. If I were a Republican I would be pretty pissed that Mert is using an entire national political party to support what is a personal legal bad business issue. You got to say the guy is has chutzpa.  

The new attack on Hillary revolves around the fact that she is thinking about what needs to happen when she wins after transition. Thank God.  Unaccustomed as I am to telling a story here goes one about what happened after Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.  The campaign had paid a company to develop a computer system that would supposedly find the right people for the right job.  A few of us thought maybe we ought to test this miraculous  system. Which we did by entering people into the system who certainly should have been appointed to political positions.  It just didn’t work — simple as that. What we realized was that the President would be going into government unencumbered by any people but the Cabinet Secretaries.  

In order to run the government there must be thousands of political appointees in place.  Otherwise the President will not be able to transition from one Administration to the other. So, even if the government transitions from one party to the  same party, the new President wants to put their own imprint on the government.  That is not as difficult as transitioning from one party to another — like in ’92.  Hope that’s clear, but it’s the government, so nothing is clear.

Anyway, there we were trying to staff the government in a month.  Just FYI, there are thousands of politically appointed jobs.  You can find them all in a catalogue called “The Plum Book” —which, guaranteed Mert has never heard about — because his plan is to run the government all by himself.  Moving on… We needed to find “grown-up” people who at least knew something about life, if not the government.  It was not easy to find people who could take at least a few months to go “into” government. The result was that each person we identified had to be the temporary decision maker for two or three Agencies. For example, I sat at USIA, but supervised appointments and decisions for the Endowment for the Arts and for the Manatees, (not to be confused with the National Endowment for Humanities.  It was a 24/7 job. Oh, and we needed to fire all the Republicans before they burrowed (another way to keep a government job — read my book, “So You Think You Can Be President” — because it’s funny and this is just a blob). My point is, if you are a serious Presidential Candidate you need to think about life after transition.  So an attack on Hillary for thinking ahead is predictable but certainly short sighted. 

The media race to be first, AP and other media organizations had to crown her the presumptive nominee before the last primaries results.  How stupid.  It certainly doesn’t help Hillary. And maybe that’s their point.

We have a long way to go before the actual election, but I don’t think name calling (even your own staff) and outrageous attacks will get anyone elected. We can only hope that this is the part of the Mert meltdown.  So who steps in, Newt perhaps?   We’re just sayin’… Iris

The Executive Director of the National Endowment for the Manatees

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