Secretary Of State Rudy Giuliani?

A surprising name is emerging as the likely pick for the nation's top diplomatic position.

President-Elect Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, perhaps the most important position in the Cabinet along with Secretary of Defense, is reportedly narrowing down to a list that includes a seemingly unlikely choice, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani:

WASHINGTON—Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the leading candidate to be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would elevate a well-known national figure to become the U.S.’s chief diplomat.

Mr. Trump’s aides have also considered former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as a possible candidate, but the close relationship between Messrs. Giuliani and Trump was a major consideration, the people said.

Asked at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting in Washington on Monday evening if his title would soon be “Secretary,” Mr. Giuliani responded, “One never knows.”

Mr. Giuliani also said that Mr. Bolton would be a good choice for secretary of state. He was then asked if there was a better choice than Mr. Bolton and he replied, “Maybe me, I don’t know.”

For Mr. Trump, it is a choice between a longtime friend and ally in New York, Mr. Giuliani, and a hawkish conservative diplomat, Mr. Bolton, who called last year for the U.S. to bomb Iran. A final decision could be several weeks away, these people said, and other candidates could still emerge.

Deliberations over personnel in the new administration are expected to quicken on Tuesday when the transition team’s newly installed chairman, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, arrives at Mr. Trump’s New York headquarters. Mr. Pence, the governor of Indiana, spent Monday in Florida, where he was the keynote speaker for the Republican Governors Association.

Mr. Pence also will continue his outreach to the Washington establishment later in the week when he meets with Vice President Joe Biden and others on Capitol Hill, said Marc Short, a spokesman for Mr. Pence.

Mr. Bolton and Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks declined to comment. Mr. Giuliani didn’t respond to requests seeking comment that were submitted to the transition team.

After spending most of the past week in meetings, the president-elect could travel later in the week to thank supporters for his victory, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on Monday. She also said there could be more “clarity on the senior team and the cabinet” in the near future.

Mr. Trump’s pick for the State Department will be integral to his effort to reshape U.S. foreign policy. He has called for an overhaul of the way the U.S. interacts with allies and adversaries, arguing that other North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations should shoulder more of the world’s burdens and the White House should forge a new relationship with Russia to resolve tensions in the Middle East.

President Barack Obama on Monday warned of a potential backlash from U.S. allies if Mr. Trump tries to undo some of his top foreign-policy achievements, specifically the deal to restrain Iran’s nuclear program and an international climate-change agreement.

Mr. Obama said backing out of the Iran nuclear deal could force the U.S. to adopt sanctions against its allies in Europe, as well as Russia and China, because they are part of the agreement. Retreating on the climate-change deal could alienate the U.S. from more than 200 nations that signed onto it to cut CO 2 emissions, he said. Mr. Obama, who left for Europe on Monday, is expected to tell many of those leaders that he hopes Mr. Trump will abide by those agreements. “It becomes more difficult, I think, to undo something that’s working than to undo something that isn’t working,” Mr. Obama said at a press conference.

Mr. Trump has given no indication that he is going to change his opposition to both deals.

At first blush, Giuliani seems like a rather odd choice for the position of America’s Chief Diplomat. He has no professional experience in the area, for example, and other than providing opinions on foreign policy on Fox News Channel and elsewhere, hasn’t really expressed much outward interest in the area in the past. Based on his resume as an attorney in private practice and as U.S. Attorney in New York City, of course, one would have assumed that Giuliani would be among the top picks for Attorney General, and in the days after the election is name was immediately put at the top of the list for that position. Giuliani himself seemed to admit as much in comments immediately after the nomination, which only served to further fuel speculation that he would be selected as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Despite the fact that his open disdain for civil liberties, one would think that Giuliani would be a better pick for that position than Secretary of State. However, in recent days Giuliani himself, who is close to Trump and the people in charge of the transition has said that he won’t be Attorney General and the speculation has shifted to him being in another position in the Cabinet. In that regard, the next most logical position for Giuliani would seem to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, a position that could arguably benefit from Giuliani’s anti-terror experience, but that’s apparently too low down the totem pole for Giuliani, who has apparently been lobbying for his consideration as Secretary of State and may have been responsible for leaking the news that he and John Bolton are among the top candidates to fill the top spot at Foggy Bottom.

Whether or not Giuliani’s ambition match’s Trump’s ultimate choice remains to be seen, of course, but in some sense he would be a better choice than the other name Trump is allegedly considering, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton. Where Giuliani is something of an enigma when it comes to foreign policy, Bolton’s positions are far too clear, and the idea of him serving is America’s top diplomat should be troublesome to all Americans. Bolton has been described in the past as a ‘neo-conservative on steroids,’ and his foreign policy ideas have all to frequently seemed to default to aggression and military action rather than diplomacy throughout his career. He was advocating invasion of Iraq long before the Bush Administration took that step in 2003, and has spent the better part of the past fifteen years or so advocating for military action against Iran to stop that nation’s nuclear program, is seemingly second only to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the frequency of his predictions that Iran was only ‘months’ away from developing a functional nuclear weapon, and has advocated ramp ups in military action in Iraq and Syria that would seemingly inevitably have to involve massive numbers of American ground troops in order to succeed. He supported expanded military action in Libya. And, during the Bush Administration, supported policies such as enhanced interrogation of terror suspects. Finally, Bolton opposes the nuclear agreement with Iran, which is problematic given the fact that he would be one of the primary people responsible for ensuring that the plan continues to work. Given all of that, it’s no surprise that Bolton was enthusiastically endorsed by the editors at National Review.  Given all of this, one could arguably say that Giuliani’s inexperience would be far preferable to someone with Bolton’s record.

There have been other names mentioned for Secretary of State, of course. In the immediate days after the election, former House Speaker and 2012 Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich emerged as a top contender for the position. However, Gingrich immediately sought to tamp down speculation on this idea and has suggested that if Giuliani wants to be Secretary of State he expects that he’d likely get the job. Also apparently being considered for the position is Tennesee Senator Bob Corker, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Because of this position, Corker would seem to be well-qualified for the position of Secretary of State and the fact that he generally lacks the bombastic radicalism of someone like John Bolton would arguably be a big plus in his favor. This is the future Trump Administration we’re talking about, though, and it appears that actual experience doesn’t matter as much as the question of how loyal someone is to Donald Trump. In that regard, Giuliani and Gingrich have been among Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters so one would expect it would be one of them. With Giuliani apparently having said he’s not interested, that leaves the bizarre choice of Rudy Giuliani for a position that he clearly doesn’t seem to prepared to fill.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. KM says:

    This is the future Trump Administration we’re talking about, though, and it appears that actual experience doesn’t matter as much as the question of how loyal someone is to Donald Trump.

    Well, conservatives do say they like to honor tradition – the patronage system, in this case.

    Taking the country back……. way back to the 1880s. Make America Great Gilded Again!!!

  2. S. Fields says:

    Giuliani seems like a rather odd choice for the position of America’s Chief Diplomat. He has no professional experience in the area, for example, and other than providing opinions on foreign policy on Fox News Channel and elsewhere, hasn’t really expressed much outward interest in the area in the past.

    All the better to serve his likewise suited President.

  3. Hal_10000 says:

    The sad part is Rudy at State would be less alarming than Rudy as AG and Bolton at State. Balko wrote a big article yesterday on Rudy’s history with law enforcement and civil liberties. It’s horrifying. And Bolton is one of the architects of the Iraq War. Remember when Trump opposed the Iraq War? That was such an innocent time, last Monday.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    And Sarah Palin as Interior Secretary?
    And his kids are all going to have top security clearance?
    A racist, misogynistic, anti-semite that the KKK loves just doors from the Oval Office?
    Trade agreements done on the first day?
    And Ryan is going to do away with Medicare.
    This Republic will be devastated by the Trump Presidency.

  5. The greatest strength that Hillary had as SoS was her name recognition. Basically, everyone knew her. The SoS is more than a diplomat, he is part of the image of the United States. I can´t imagine Rudy Giuliani going to Colombia or Nigeria and making a good impression about the United States.

    The single fact that he is being considered to the job is terrifying. No one in the Trump Transition team has any idea about what a SoS does.

  6. Andrew says:

    Giuliani as Secretary of State? Hmm.
    With his cross-dressing past, not only will he be supported by the F.B.I.
    I can also see our ties with Thailand becoming stronger, as well.

  7. Jc says:

    Diplomacy and Rudy go together like Diplomacy and Tony Montana…

  8. Andrew says:
  9. michael reynolds says:

    No competent, capable, rational person will work for Cheeto, so he’s sweeping up the dregs: burned-out cranks like Gingrich and Giuliani are the best he’s likely to do. Who in his right mind would be this ass-clown’s SoS?

  10. Pete S says:

    I thought that Trump said he would hire the “best people”? Couldn’t he wait to be sworn in to start breaking promises to the voters who supported him?

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Hah, in fact it seems Mike Rogers has been pushed off the transition team. I suppose he was extreme enough, but may have lacked the blank stupidity and complete ignorance of subject required of all who worship the Great Cheese Puff.

  12. Hal_10000 says:

    Of course, it was Rudy a few weeks ago who said there’s no such thing as war crimes. So we’ve got that going for us.

  13. Pch101 says:

    Trump must have a great sense of humor, because this whole thing is looking like a joke.

  14. Liberal Capitalist says:


    Gotta Fill the Swamp !

    And it looks like toxic waste is the first to go in.

  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This Republic will be devastated by the Trump Presidency.

    No. The republic will survive.

    We, and the rest of America will just not be considered a part that matters.

    Remember when he moved to get disabled Vets away from his Tower? Same thing, different scale.

    All hail the .01% !

  16. Andrew says:


    What part of anything that we know of Trump did not indicate that exactly?

    No better way to give a f*ck you to someone than to mock what they consider a serious matter. Donald’s son even said the other day that it is a “step-down” for his father to be President. Sounds to me as though they see this as below their stature.

  17. pylon says:

    This is now basically a drinking game. Who are the worst people that Trump could pick? What post will Omarosa get? How does Chachi fit into the cabinet?

  18. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: Trump’s draining the swamp…and re-filling it with muck from an older swamp.

  19. Jc says:

    @pylon: Don’t forget Curt Schilling, gotta be a job for him in there somewhere.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    On my Trump/Hitler game card I’ve filled in Steve Bannon as Joseph Goebbels, and Kellyanne Conway is Albert Speer – the relatively sane-looking one whose presence is meant to reassure and validate.

    I had wrongly assumed Chris Christie would be Goering, but that was just based on weight. And now it looks like he’s out. So we’ll need someone else to play the fat, genial drug addict. . . hey! Limbaugh! He could play Goering!

  21. al-Ameda says:

    There is an upside to this:
    It gets Giuliani out of the country on a regular basis.

  22. MBunge says:

    Given that the “we must maintain credibility by bombing the crap out of people because we are the world’s policeman” school of foreign policy still dominates inside the beltway, it’s probably a good idea for the SoS to have a close relationship with the President. Remember, all the “reasonable” people wanted us more involved in Syria and Obama was the only thing that prevented it.

    Trump and Rudy are bellicose as all get out but Trump has publicly broken with the neocon consensus and Rudy is his longtime friend, which hopefully will put him on Trump’s side.


  23. michael reynolds says:


    Of course Cheeto’s real foreign policy ‘advisor’ is Vladimir Putin. Putin runs American foreign policy now.

  24. Pch101 says:


    Please adjust your browser so that it recognizes the sarcasm font.

  25. Trump did not broke the neocon consensus. He just used the fact that Americans don´t like losing war.

  26. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No competent, capable, rational person will work for Cheeto, so he’s sweeping up the dregs: burned-out cranks like Gingrich and Giuliani are the best he’s likely to do. Who in his right mind would be this ass-clown’s SoS?

    Whoever takes on the role of Secretary of State is apparently going to be occupied by unraveling NATO and ending America’s dominance over world politics, if Trump’s campaign claims are to be believed. It doesn’t sound like a fun time, especially when being told that you’re Making America Great Again.

    We pay for NATO, and we pay for the defense of so many of our allies so we can be a Superpower with all the influence of a superpower. Trump doesn’t want to pay the bills.

  27. dxq says:

    Goddam conservatives are some smart people. Tell us more about that email server.

  28. dxq says:

    somebody tell andre kenji to stop using the stupidest apostrophe ever.

  29. C. Clavin says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    No. The republic will survive.

    I didn’t say it wouldn’t survive.
    I said it will be devastated. And sooner than later.
    Decades of progress are about to be wiped out. This is not hyperbole.
    Based solely on Trumps own statements, and having a complacent Congress and SCOTUS, we can expect devastation in 1st amendment rights, 4th amendment rights, 6th amendment rights, 14th amendment rights, 15th amendment rights, in civil rights for gays and women and people that aren’t lily white, in care for the sick and the poor, in the environment, in education.
    We are looking at a global recession. At Trumps hand, according to Moody’s, there will be close to 3.5 million fewer jobs, incomes will drop, and stock and real estate values will tumble.
    We are looking at the biggest threat of a semi-permanent authoritarian state, perhaps ever.
    It will all happen within these four years and it will take us decades to recover.
    Black days are upon us. Enjoy.

  30. Tony W says:

    @C. Clavin: All I can do is hope that you are as wrong as conservatives were about Obama back 8 years ago.

  31. Mikey says:

    @dxq: English isn’t Kenji’s first language, and typing conventions are taught differently in different countries. Plus he’s probably using a keyboard mapped for another language.

    In such situations I usually say “don’t make fun of someone with a foreign accent, because it means they probably speak at least one more language than you do.”

  32. Argon says:

    I suspect few of the Trump voters care as long as they think they’re either:
    A) Still getting the magic unicorns Trump promised, or
    B) Helping destroy a corrupt system that they’ve got little else to lose by letting fail.

    Wrong on both counts. They are never getting unicorns and they will find they’ve actually got a lot more to lose.

    Also in the news: Apparently, deficits no longer matter again. What a difference a week makes in party politics!

  33. KM says:

    @MBunge :

    Trump and Rudy are bellicose as all get out

    Cuz having a President who gets into bitch fights over insults is a great choice to hand nukes over to. Ditto for a guy even hardened New Yorkers thought was an a*hole. Granted, he was their a*hole but nobody had any illusions. They live to start fights and irritate problems.

    It’s Middle America’s sons and daughters who’ll die for his bellicose ways. Rural America gets to bury their kids before their time if you can’t use diplomacy to smooth things out.

    Be careful what you wish for, cons, you just might get it.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @Tony W:

    All I can do is hope that you are as wrong as conservatives were about Obama back 8 years ago.

    The difference is that Conservatives opinion of Obama was entirely based upon fiction. Birther-ism, secret Muslim, socialist, coming for your guns, death panels, etc.
    I’m basing my opinion entirely on Trump’s own words, and his having a rubber-stamp Congress and SCOTUS in his pocket.

  35. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:

    It will all happen within these four years and it will take us decades to recover.

    Think of it this way…
    If you are my age…this country is never going to be the same, again.

  36. Pch101 says:


    I’ve dealt with guys like Trump before. It’s a bit more complicated that you describe.

    They are bullies, and bullies only respect force. They’ll walk all over you if they feel that they have the upper hand, but they’ll lay down like cheap hookers if they believe that you have the advantage.

    So it may be the worst of both worlds, with Trump crapping on our allies while bending over and asking “how deep?” to the likes of the Russians and the Chinese.

    And this is one reason why there should be no honeymoon coming from the Democrats and the Democratic leaners. If you try to work with this guy, he will simply disrespect you and think that you deserve to get screwed. He should be f**cked with every step of the way, and I’m frankly dismayed that Obama is going out of his way to help him with the transition any more than is absolutely necessary.

  37. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I can’t hear you over the sound of the butt hurt.


  38. MBunge says:


    There was only one candidate running who was actually responsible for a stupid war that killed hundreds of thousands for no good reason. She didn’t win.


  39. MBunge says:

    @Pch101: I’ve dealt with guys like Trump before.

    And yet, you got pantsed by one of those guys again. That doesn’t say much for your opinion in these matters.


  40. Pch101 says:


    You probably didn’t notice that Trump received fewer votes that either Clinton or Romney. Then again, you don’t notice much.

  41. SenyorDave says:

    @Gustopher: We pay for NATO, and we pay for the defense of so many of our allies so we can be a Superpower with all the influence of a superpower. Trump doesn’t want to pay the bills.

    Doesn’t matter since he has promised a spending spree. But it will all be saved by dynamic scoring. This would almost be a bad joke except its real. the Republicans are actually going to crash the economy intentionally to get through tax cuts, and a bunch of other goodies.

  42. SenyorDave says:

    @Pch101: He should be f**cked with every step of the way, and I’m frankly dismayed that Obama is going out of his way to help him with the transition any more than is absolutely necessary.

    Obama is a patriot, and despite what Trump repeatedly said over the last 8 years, he cares deeply about his country. He is a much better man than I am. And better than Trump deserves. I hope he is rallying the Democrats to be unified against Bannon, behind the scenes.

  43. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No competent, capable, rational person will work for Cheeto

    Scott Baio for Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers!

  44. SenyorDave says:

    @Argon: Also in the news: Apparently, deficits no longer matter again. What a difference a week makes in party politics!

    Cheney proved that deficits only matter when there is a Democrat in the White House

  45. Davebo says:


    Of course you can. Even with ear plugs!

  46. Davebo says:

    Chuck Norris for Sec. of Defense!

    Ted Nugent for Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

  47. pylon says:

    I just had a terrifying thought. Roy Moore – SCOTUS judge.

  48. gVOR08 says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    No one in the Trump Transition team has any idea about what a SoS does.

    No one in the transition team, especially Trump, has any idea what the President does.

  49. Mr. Bluster says:

    @MBunge:.. you got pantsed by one of those guys.

    So you are admitting Trump is a bully.

  50. Pch101 says:


    A few days before Obama’s inauguration, Rush Limbaugh told his listeners that he wanted the incoming president to fail.

    I’m not waiting that long. I want Trump to fail, big time. Obama should have done his obligatory peaceful-transition-of-power photo op and been done with it. Helping this guy just makes it easier for him to screw you later.

  51. Jen says:

    @michael reynolds: The speculation is that Rogers was pushed off the transition team because his 2014 investigative committee found no wrongdoing on the part of the State Department during Benghazi. So–someone who knows what he’s doing (former CIA) and understood what happened has been pushed out. This does not bode well for reason, or, I think, for Clinton, as I wonder if they are gearing up to take a few more swipes at her.

  52. Moosebreath says:

    The prospect of having Giuliani as our country’s chief diplomat reminds me of a line from Yes, Minister, to the effect that the Minister for Education is illiterate, the Minister for Employment is unemployable and the Minister for Industry is the idlest man in the country.

  53. Andrew says:


    Do I need to use Internet Explorer to do that?

    Obama is a very pragmatic person. He still has influence as sitting President to help the country, and it is smart of him to do so. And I am sure you know what is said about keeping your friends close and all that jazz.

  54. Pch101 says:


    Obama seems to be a genuinely nice guy, and his nice guy tendencies have cost him more than once.

    Trump will not be appreciative of the help, he will just use it to gather tools for his toolbox that he will use to screw you. It is naive to believe otherwise.

  55. Scott says:

    @Jen: Mike Rogers is a conservative but he’s not nuts. that is why he was pushed out.

    That is my new criteria for any right winger or conservative: nuts or not-nuts. So far I see very few not-nuts being considered for any position.

  56. C. Clavin says:


    I want Trump to fail, big time.

    Oh…and he will fail, have no doubt. Republican policies are abject failures. Look at Kansas. Look at Iraq. Trump loses money in the casino business, where the house always wins. He will fail, there is no question.
    The problem is that, with unfettered control of 3 branches of Government, the damage will be done…and undoing it will take decades if it’s possible at all.
    How will we overcome the institution of an authoritarian state? The acceleration of torture programs…likely to be used on Americans, this time. The NSA spy apparatus run amok.
    The religious freedoms of anyone who isn’t a christian? How long until we enjoy them again?
    The social safety net? Will it ever even exist again?
    Overturning Roe v. Wade? How long do you think that will take to turn back around?
    Climate change accelerating even faster than it is today? How long, if ever, will that take to fix?
    A stray nuke because Trump was insulted by someone on Twitter. Look at the half-life of Chernobyl.
    This isn’t fiction…it’s not hyperbole…it’s all based on the man’s own words.
    Medieval times, my friend. Medieval times.

  57. Pch101 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    When I say that I want Trump to fail, I am saying that I want him to fail at implementing his agenda.

    Why make it easier for him to do what he wants to do? Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, derail, derail, derail.

  58. C. Clavin says:


    Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, derail, derail, derail.

    How, exactly? Please, please, tell me.
    Trump has the full, unfettered, force of the Government at his command. A feckless Republican Congress who will eliminate the fillibuster on the first day in session. And, very soon, he will have a Republican SCOTUS.
    There. Is. No. Stopping. This. Monster.

  59. Pch101 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Cloture. Endless hearings. (Hold the hearings informally and off campus if necessary.) Stir up the base.

  60. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: Heck, given the infighting we’re already starting to see, I doubt that our side will have to do anything but sit back, provide the man sufficient ammunition, and watch as he and his coterie take each other out in a circular firing squad.

    Plus Reality is going to start horning in on Trump in a really big way. I suspect at least one stock market crash, near monthly foreign crises–particularly if he tries to get into the trade wars he claims will be so beneficial to the US. And that’s not even looking at the sniping he’s going to get from the Business Class Republicans.

    No Drama Obama has steered the ship so skillfully that we’ve forgotten what happens when you have a real doofus at the helm. Well, get reacquainted with chaos again, guys.

  61. C. Clavin says:

    All meaningless in the face of Trump, this Congress, and a majority on the SCOTUS.

  62. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Plus Reality is going to start horning in on Trump

    Yeah…let me know when that starts. His dis-connect from reality is awe-inspiring.

  63. Gustopher says:

    @Pch101: My impression of Trump is that when he is over his head, he delegates to whoever happens to be standing near him. He shows no ability to figure out how trustworthy someone is, which is why he’s been so willing to embrace the alt-right.

    Exposing Trump to better people, and going out of his way to help Trump in the transition means that Obama might have some modest say in who is standing next to Trump when he is over his head — it could help blunt some of the damage. Right wing rather than alt-right, for instance.

    Obama is a better man than I am, since I’m not sure I could do it. But it is likely good for America that he can.

  64. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin: No, it’s far from meaningless. The minority party is never utterly powerless in our system, the Republicans retained only a slim Senate majority (probably 52-48, given the likely outcome of the Louisiana run-off on December 10), and the Democrats had a net gain of 12 in the House.

    It’s certainly not a bright picture, but it’s not hopeless.

  65. Pch101 says:


    I’m sorry, but that sounds like a big pile of wishful thinking, the sort of stuff that ends up screwing liberals badly time and again.

    Trump seems to have had two primary mentors in his life: (a) His father, who divided the world into winners and losers (as he defined them) and (b) Roy Cohn, who needs no explanation. You can see shades of these two whenever Trump speaks and acts.

    Honestly, this is one reason why I can’t be a Democrat. This unwillingness to recognize ones opponents for what they are and to beat them senseless when necessary is frankly embarrassing. Surely one should be able to be compassionate and inclusive to those who deserve it without being taken by those who don’t.

  66. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans will nuke the fillibuster on their first day. And then it won’t matter how small their majority. Hell…they may not even wait.
    And then the few moderates left will simply cower in the corner and toe the party line.
    This is the perfect storm that will do untold damage to the Republic.

  67. Pch101 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Senators on both sides of the aisle know that a radical change in parliamentary rules that is designed to serve one party over another will eventually be met with retaliation when party power inevitably shifts.

    So no, that probably won’t happen. Senators tend to be a bit less nuts than the House members.

  68. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Republicans will nuke the fillibuster on their first day.

    Yeah…even they aren’t that stupid. And even if some are, they’ll need to get absolutely everyone on board and those who remember being in the minority are going to be reluctant, especially if they believe it’s likely the Dems will pick up more seats in the mid-terms.

  69. Republicans don’t need to ‘nuke the filibuster’ to get Cabinet positions confirmed. The changes that Harry Reid and the Democrats passed in November 2013 meant that all Executive Branch appointments, and all Judicial nominations with the exception of SCOTUS nominees, only need a majority of votes to pass. No super-majority. No filibuster.

    And if Democrats try to use a filibuster to block a Trump SCOTUS nomination, I have no doubt that Republicans will seek to use Reid’s example and eliminate the filibuster for those as well.

  70. C. Clavin says:


    Yeah…even they aren’t that stupid.

    Where have you been? Under a rock? They have absolute power within their grasp…and all they care about is absolute power. They don’t care about governing. They don’t care about their constituents. They don’t care about the Republic. All they care about is getting, and holding onto, power.

  71. C. Clavin says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    They will need to nuke the filibuster to enact almost all of their agenda.
    Like, say, to get rid of Obamacare, for instance.

  72. C. Clavin,

    Possibly, depending on the nature of the legislation in some cases they can bypass the filibuster by using the reconciliation process. In the case of legislation, though, I’m less sure that they’d be willing to pull the trigger on the filibuster. The GOP majority is slimmer than it used to be and there are a lot of longer-serving GOP Senators who will argue against doing that because, one day, the GOP will likely be in the minority in the Senate again and there will be a Democratic President and House. Indeed, McConnell himself has said publicly that he’d be skeptical about removing the filibuster for legislation. All it would take is three defections and they wouldn’t be able to do it, and if McConnell opposes it then repealing the filibuster won’t even get to the floor of the Senate.

  73. al-Ameda says:


    No one in the transition team, especially Trump, has any idea what the President does.

    Sure they do: (1) Authorize abrogation of treaties, and (2) call Defense and ask for drone strikes on an as-needed basis.

  74. grumpy realist says:

    Josh M. points out that a) John McCain has said NO Giuliani NO Bolton for SoS, b) there don’t need to be that many flips on the Republican side for neither of these two to get through.

    We’re already starting to see the chaos start. Russia and China must be licking their chops.

  75. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin: Dude, the GOP is not all-in for Trump. Perhaps you missed all those months of #NeverTrump? Or that a wing of the Republican Party actually ran another candidate (McMullin)?

    Believe it or not, there are some Republicans who are not so short-sighted as the Trumpists.

  76. C. Clavin says:


    Dude, the GOP is not all-in for Trump.

    I guess you missed Ryan and McConnell grabbing their ankles.
    McCain and Butters will make some noise but they will go along like they always do.
    It’s about power…and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  77. SenyorDave says:

    @Mikey: They’ll do the calculation, and Trump will roll them. My prediction is that they cave on almost anything he really wants. He might not care about many of the cabinet spots, I think he’ll defer to Bannon. I think Bannon will be largely running the show that”s why he wants him as senior adviser. And to think that Van Jones was run out on a rail. We have a white supremacist helping to run the country.

  78. Jen says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned it yet, but this article about Giuliani certainly doesn’t seem like it will help his case much.

  79. grumpy realist says:

    @Jen: Oh great. So Trump will forgo Giuliani for Bolton?

    At least I’ll have fun listening to the screams over at TAC.

  80. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin: I think what’s going on is a temporary truce-of-convenience between the GOP establishment and the Trumpists. But we’ll see.

    I am, however, as close to certain as one can be these days that the GOP will not remove the filibuster for legislation. Some may want to, some may try, but in the end they won’t have the numbers. Remember, they need pretty much every GOP Senator to sign on to the “nuclear option.” Even two in opposition means the filibuster stays. Also, as Doug says, if McConnell doesn’t support it, it never even gets to a vote.

  81. Guarneri says:

    Boy, you guys sure seem unhappy. Buck up boys and girls. I hear Trump is going to give Hillary a Certificate of Participation, and that’ll make us all equal…….and no tears.

  82. pylon says:

    @Guarneri: Gee, I heard that this “Participation” sneer was the latest rage among the Trumpladites. It’s so clever. Did you get it from Free Republic or Gateway Pundit?

  83. wr says:

    @MBunge: Wow. You’re really desperate to rationalize your vote for Trump. To yourself, I assume, since everyone else here knew you were going to do it. “Hillary is the real meanie? Giuliani never started a war!” You keep telling yourself all that. Nothing is your fault. You’re a Republican, after all.

  84. wr says:

    @Jen: With all due respect to Mrs. Clinton, I hope Trump is planning on going after her. I can’t quite believe the team is that stupid — generally they stop fighting once they’ve won — but if they want to guarantee the death of any kind of honeymoon, make a martyr by persecuting the woman who had the nerve to go after him.

  85. al-Ameda says:


    Did you get it from Free Republic or Gateway Pundit?

    the Russian provocateur site, Zerohedge …
    … speaking of, isn’t Putin in line for a cabinet position, a newly created Secretary of The Internet, something like that?

  86. Guarneri says:


    Neither, but your reflexive citation of a sight to do your thinking for you tells us much about you. I’m sorry your candidate lost, but I hate to tell you your group strokeathon isn’t going to get you anywhere. But it is amusing.

  87. Mr. Bluster says:

    @michael reynolds:..No competent, capable, rational person will work for Cheeto,..

    Well that explains this.

    According to multiple news reports, Hogan Gidley, a longtime aide to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, has confirmed that his boss is being considered for one of several possible posts in the Trump administration.

  88. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Scott: Hold it right there; where are you finding conservatives who are not nuts?

  89. Andrew says:

    Pence and Huckabee?!

    No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.