Can Kelly Fix the White House?

(I suspect the reader already knows the answer to the question).

Jonathan Swan at AxiosWest Wing wonders, can Kelly fix ‘culture problem’?

One key questions asked is this:

Does Trump let Kelly be a true gatekeeper, in the tradition of effective chiefs of staff? I.e. does all information flow through Kelly, or do certain officials, such as Anthony Scaramucci, Jared and Ivanka, continue to answer only to the President?

I think we all know the answer to that question, and hence the answer to the headline question is “no.”

I think a lot of folks are assuming because Kelly is a retired General that that means he can come in and whip everyone into shape.  There is no particular reason to think this, if anything because the White House is not a military unit.  More importantly, the culture of the White House that we are observing is not the function of Reince Priebus, it is a function of Donald Trump, who remains in office.

The following, by the way, also isn’t going to happen:

Under Kelly, do factional enemies in the West Wing put aside their hatreds and, while they’ll never agree on policy, at least agree to stop trying to annihilate each other?

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Liberal Capitalist says:

    … dammit… I thought I had stocked up on enough popcorn for at LEAST the first year.

    Who’da thunk that every episode would be a cliffhanger… and that we have no choice but to bingewatch.

  2. CSK says:

    No, because fixing the WH entails fixing Trump, and that isn’t going to happen. He is what he is, and will remain so, unfortunately for us.

    A more relevant question might be: How long does Kelly last?

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    I can’t wait till Anthony Scaramucci busts General Kelly’s balls :))

  4. KM says:

    Can Kelly Fix the White House?

    No. A nuke from orbit couldn’t do the job at this point – we’d never be sure.

    Next question?

  5. Bill says:


    Next question?

    Is it too late to get the dropship from the Sulaco?

  6. gVOR08 says:

    A few years ago I worked for a company whose top management were mostly retired officers. The company was not very well organized and management seemed resistant to any effort to impose routines and order. This puzzled me for some time until I realized that organization was part of the sea they had swum in, not something they created.

  7. Mikey says:

    Well, he’s already fired the Mooch, so that’s good. We’ll see if it lasts.