Washington, D.C. – January 20th, 2017
“In 21 years of covering the State Department and in eight years of serving there, I’ve seen rocky transitions and experienced what feels like a hostile takeover, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The Donald Trump transition continues to be as organized as a cat stampede. According to the Partnership for Public Service the incoming President has only filled 29 of his 660 executive department appointments. This has led to last minute plans to retain 50 essential State Department and national security officials currently working in the Obama administration to ensure “continuity of government,” according to Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary and noted angry person.
This is already having negative effects on the hoped for smooth transition of power. A Trump takes power today the West Wing will be largely empty as many of Obama’s White House staff haven’t met their replacements or had a chance to train them. Some are just leaving briefing books on their desks, having had no opportunity to go through them with anyone.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) January 18, 2017
A lot of the blame for this comes from the decision to fire Chris Christie as head of the transition. According to the New York Times Christie had a detailed blueprints of how everything should proceed, all the way through the first 100 days of Trump’s Presidency. The plans called for Trump to have daily briefings on a variety of issues.
The heavy amount of briefings and the rigorous nature of the schedule Cristie laid out may have led to his dismissal. After all, we know how much Trump enjoys sitting through briefings.
The glacial pace of the Trump Transition has not gone unnoticed and has alarmed both Democrat and Republican law makers. Strobe Talbott, the president of D.C. think tank the Brookings Institution said, “In 21 years of covering the State Department and in eight years of serving there, I’ve seen rocky transitions and experienced what feels like a hostile takeover, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Neither have most of us, Strobe.