Wanna learn something about me? Tough. You’re gonna hear it anyway.
Once, I was offered a job in a political campaign. Not just any position either, I was offered to be a campaign manager of a congressional campaign. You probably thought I didn’t have any skill or experience in that area. You were right.
It was 1994 and a Republican candidate offered me the position. This was the year the GOP with Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America was going to take the House. A Democrat had just retired from the district after serving 54 years, and this was in Mississippi. Everyone knew a Republican was going to take the seat. So, I turned it down.
I knew the candidate who offered me the position was going to lose, but that’s not why I declined. Every political operative works on a losing campaign. I had several other reasons to turn it down.
I didn’t have any experience and had only been in the newspaper business for four years. I didn’t want to be the reason a campaign failed. Even though my editors were willing to grant me a leave of absence, I didn’t want to leave journalism and enter politics even though it was tempting to see how the other side lives. But, the biggest reason I turned it down was that the campaign was going to be a flaming disaster going over a cliff.
My first clue was that they offered me the job of campaign manager. What the hell was wrong with them? I draw cartoons. I don’t get people elected to Congress. I wasn’t even a Republican. The candidate had no realistic chance of winning in a six-person primary, and they thought they did. I didn’t want to work with people who were that delusional. Finally, they, as in the candidate and his wife, gave me a really creepy vibe. I didn’t want to work, less enough be stuck in a car for 24 hours a day, with creepy stupid people. Ew. So I thanked them for the opportunity and politely refused. They ended up coming in 6th in the primary and the winner of that seat is now a United States senator, who I ended up meeting during the campaign (but this was Mississippi. You meet everybody).
I bet that’s why Nick Ayers turned down Trump’s offer to be his Chief of Staff. Quite frankly, it’s like being offered the job of captain of the Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg. Look what it’s done to John Kelly, a four-star General. It’s reduced his respect and credibility to the same level as Omarosa’s. If a four-star General can’t reel Trump in and exert some control over the West Wing, what chance does a 36-year-old political operative have?
The Chief of Staff position is prestigious. It puts you in the seat of power and makes you a big time player in the world of politics. When you’re done, you either turn that prestige into major bucks in the corporate world or the speaking circuit, or you build your own political career, like Rahm Emanuel and Dick Cheney. So, why would someone as young as Ayers turn it down?
Serving as Trump’s Chief of Staff probably wouldn’t parlay into a future of huge rewards. You would have to be a total sycophant, and nobody respects those. You could be blackballed from jobs and even chased out of restaurants. And with Trump, you would most likely have to spend thousands on legal bills and quite possibly be indicted yourself. Do you want to go to prison for Donald Trump?
On top of all that, you can’t trust Trump. After setting an agenda, you would find out later from Twitter that Trump has changed his mind. There would also be ridiculous tweets and statements you would have to defend with a straight face. Look what that’s done to the faces of Kellyanne and Sarah Huckabee. The next CoS will also serve while Congress is controlled by Democrats and conducting multiple investigations on Trump, and Robert Mueller will be bringing the hammer down. Good times are not ahead for the Trump administration.
Later, after you’re fired, Trump will tweet to the world that you’re lazy and stupid like he did to his former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Trump demands loyalty while returning none.
Ayers isn’t the only one running from the job. Reportedly, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are sending signals to the White House saying, “Please, god no. Not me.” Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe is currently in the Witness Protection Program avoiding a call from Trump.
Trump will find a Chief of Staff. There are reports former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is under consideration. If you thought he couldn’t sink any lower than eating what Trump tells him to eat and making cheeseburger runs, just wait. Dignity will not be on the menu.
I kinda feel bad for the next babysitter because this is a big baby, and he makes big boom-booms.
Watch me draw.