Do YOU want to be Donald Trump's chief of staff?

On Wednesday, when asked about his search for a chief of staff to replace John Kelly, ...

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 1:16 PM
Updated: Dec 14, 2018 1:16 PM

On Wednesday, when asked about his search for a chief of staff to replace John Kelly, President Donald Trump said this: "I have at least 10, 12 -- 12 people that want it badly. I'm making a decision. Great people," he said. "I could do it immediately. I'm in no rush. A lot of people want it."

On Thursday, which, in case you have lost your sense of time somehow, is 24 hours later, Trump said he had narrowed his list -- suddenly -- to just five people. "Mostly well-known," he said of the group. "Terrific people."

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How? Who? Why? When?

In truth, I have zero answers to any of these questions.

The only thing we KNOW is that, late Wednesday, the White House announced Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina was out of the running. Other than that? The list seems to remain the same: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have also been mentioned but have said they are not interested).

The reason we know so little about this process and it seems so haphazard is because Trump knows little about the process and it is so haphazard. All the reporting in the wake of Mike Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers' decision to turn down that same job with Trump makes clear there was no "plan B" in place. There were even some whispers of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, being considered, including in a Huffington Post report Thursday.

Asked about that possibility, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "I'm not aware that he's under consideration, but I think as all of us here would recognize, he would be great in any role the President chooses to put him in."

The truth of the matter is that Trump is, as he so often does, making it up as he goes. That seat-of-the-pants style explains the wildly varying number of candidates and Trump's need to repeatedly insist publicly that not only is this all going according to his plan but also there are candidates falling all over themselves to work for him.

There's little evidence that's the case. In fact, many smart Washington Republicans have steered far away from even being mentioned for the chief of staff job -- knowing that the gig is extremely difficult under the best circumstances and impossible with Trump as your boss.

The Point: Trump will find someone to fill the gap left by Kelly. But the idea that Trump is executing against a pre-laid plan is a fallacy.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
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Columbus
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Oxford
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