Trump Team not Ready for Prime Time

“Winning was easy, young man, govern’s harder.” — George Washington in Hamilton.

Indeed, one of the easiest parts of winning is the transition portion before, you know, the governing starts.

Via the NYT:  Trump Staff Shake-Up Slows Transition to Near Halt:

President-elect Donald J. Trump‘s transition operation plunged into disarray on Tuesday with the abrupt departure of Mike Rogers, who had handled national security matters, the second shake-up in less than a week on a team that has not yet begun to execute the daunting task of taking over the government.


In another sign of disarray, a transition official said on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had removed a second senior defense and foreign policy official from his transition team, Matthew Freedman, who runs a Washington consulting firm that advises foreign governments and companies seeking to do business with the United States government.


Mr. Pence took the helm of the transition on Friday after Mr. Trump unceremoniously removed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who had been preparing with Obama administration officials for months to put the complex transition process into motion. That effort is now frozen, senior White House officials say, because Mr. Pence has yet to sign legally required paperwork to allow his team to begin collaborating with President Obama’s aides on the handover.

This does not bode well for the next four year.  To restate:  this is the easy part.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics, , , ,
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. Kari Q says:

    The temptation among the Obama team to simply drop everything and walk off must be overwhelming.

  2. bill says:

    “team trump”, i like the sound of that!
    maybe you can share this with the whiners at your daycare/college? it’s nearly 15yrs old and very spot on to the now!

  3. Gromitt Gunn says:

    The WSJ piece on the transition effort that was published yesterday asserted that the Trump team assumed that they would be inheriting existing non-agency / non-civil service executive branch employees and was unaware that they were going to need to staff the West Wing from scratch.

  4. @bill: You might want to look up the definition of “whining” as it would appear it does not mean what you think it means.

  5. Mikey says:

    Let the incompetence begin!

  6. MikeSJ says:

    So the dog actually caught the car. Imagine that.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    I wonder how long it will take for so many of those working-class white folks to realize what a monumental mistake they made in voting for this incompetent fool…it certainly will be an embarrassment of riches for comedians for the next four years…

  8. MikeSJ says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Their criteria for considering Trump “a mistake” is different from yours.

    As long as he’s a loud mouthed a-hole to people they don’t like they will be A-OK with him. A war, a recession, a scandal? None of that matters in the least to them.

    Look at how he acted while running for President. Didn’t bother them at all.

  9. Jc says:

    Amateur hour. I would like to believe this relates to the fact he never expected to win and would have gladly rather lost and had a lucrative Trump TV. Whatever the reason, it’s embarrassing

  10. Gustopher says:

    I am really not sure whether this is good news or bad news. On the one hand, it is gross incompetence, on the other hand he will have trouble getting terrible things done.

    How can I get one of these jobs? I would do a terrible job of dismantling environmental regulations and get the entire process bogged down in lawsuits until the next President is sworn in.

  11. Argon says:

    I sense a disturbance in the grift.

  12. rachel says:

    @MikeSJ: They weren’t losing money on him then. If they lose their jobs/pension/social security/health insurance because of his policies? They’re not going to be happy with him at all. Remember, these are the same people who though W was the best president ever until he tried to privatize SS and the economy crashed.

  13. Mikey says:


    Remember, these are the same people who though W was the best president ever until he tried to privatize SS and the economy crashed.

    About 99% of those people still hold W. in high regard. They don’t blame him for any of that. For example, in their view it was Clinton’s push to get more black people mortgages that crashed the economy. 9/11 was Clinton’s fault, too, because he could have had bin Laden’s head on a platter but said no. Etc. etc.

    I guarantee you Trump could make a royal mess of everything and his supporters would find some way to lay the blame on the Democrats.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:


  15. Hal_10000 says:

    The longer this goes on, the more I’m thinking we probably elected President Mike Pence.

    Remember the offer he supposedly made to Kasich but vigorously denied?

  16. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gustopher: You’re hired! Just mention my name and they’ll put you on.

  17. Andrew says:

    Has anyone else ever seen the movie My Fellow Americans?

    Mike Pence may be the character played by John Heard. Now all we need is Obama and W. to bring him down!!

  18. charon says:


    I guarantee you Trump could make a royal mess of everything and his supporters would find some way to lay the blame on the Democrats.

    True for the preponderance of them, but there would be enough effect at the marginal voters to swing elections – look how narrow WI, MI, PA, FL wins were this time.


    I am thinking if Trump is still Prez in 2020 he gets a primary challenge – no way does get continue as Prez past 2020.