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The strategic thinking behind Trump's cabinet picks

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 18:16
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Looks to me like Trump is using the same strategy in choosing his cabinet that an aspiring middle-school teacher would use in managing a classroom.

Pick out the leaders of the various cliques, get them aboard, and then let them deal with the naysayers and upstarts. Once the factional leaders have pledged allegiance to the alpha dog, the grumblers will eventually shut up and fall in line.

Works in the classroom. Will it work for Trump?

That's one reason Trump's cabinet is full of GS alumni. Wall Street may be reluctant to take direction from Donny J, but when there's a half dozen former GS heavy hitters in the Trump cabinet, at least you know Wall Street will be paying attention.

So if the decree comes down from the top of Trump Tower that there's a one-time window for corporate tax avoiders to repatriate their off-shored billions at a low rate, those corporate types will be far more amenable to hearing that message if it comes from their GS brothers than if it came from the tax-evader-in-chief.

Same goes for General “Mad Dog” Mattis. By all accounts he's a highly respected guy the length and breadth of the military establishment. When the order comes down to close half of America's offshore military bases, the folks being downsized are going to be way more amenable to the message if it comes from General Mattis than they would be if it came from some unruly NYC condo developer with fake hair.

One thing that I'd wager on with 100% probability is that, unlike W and Barry O before him, Mr. Trump will never be a prisoner of his cabinet.

Time will tell.

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