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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Conservatives hope Hicks story won’t stall momentum of Trump agenda

Boohoo. Washington was abuzz late last week at the news Communications Director Hope Hicks was leaving the Trump administration, the latest in what looks to be a steady stream of staff departures from the rumored-to-be notoriously difficult-to-work-for President Donald Trump White House.

Granted the vast majority of us are not privy to the internal office atmosphere of the West Wing but the media’s bloviating concerning Hicks went grossly overboard. For example, Politico Magazine claimed after Hicks leaves Trump will be the “loneliest man in town.”

Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote, “He’s got his literal family—though his son-in-law is reeling from the controversy Hope Hicks Resignsover his security clearance, there have been enough off moments in public to feed speculation about the state of his relationship with the first lady, and Donald Trump Jr. said in India last week that given all the president is dealing with, he feels ‘it’s almost trite to call him just to say hello.’

“With Hope Hicks leaving the White House, longtime body man Keith Schiller long gone, there is no metaphorical family, no core group of aides who’ve been through the ringer together, come out beaten but bound forever, trusting each other, trusting the president and having him trust them.

“Every president gets lonely. It’s a lonely job. But the president who spent his life desperately seeking attention and getting all of it anyone could ever want might be the loneliest one ever.”

If it’s a losing battle for the media to continue bludgeoning Trump over his personality, tweets and policies perhaps they’ve now moved on to feeling sorry for him personally because many of the folks who were there with him during the heated days of the 2016 campaign are now on the outside looking in.

Of course there’s a multitude of “newcomers” filling the space where the others once stood – like John Kelly in place of Reince Priebus -- don’t they count? No doubt Trump doesn’t get an opportunity to hang out with sons Don Jr. and Eric the way he used to in the comfy confines of Trump Tower in New York City, but it shouldn’t be forgotten daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are still active in the White House and wife Melania and son Barron are upstairs in the living quarters if the president needs a little “real life” perspective.

I don’t think anyone needs excessively worry about the president’s mental state or perceived lack of fellowship. As president, Trump is constantly being attended to by staff, pestered by reporters, hounded by administration personnel (like department heads), visited by foreign dignitaries, etc. -- and the meetings are endless. “Loneliness” is not the word to describe what Trump is experiencing; he might feel insulated from those he was formerly closest to but being “alone” is something a president can never be, even if he wanted space.

Trump isn’t akin to the Tom Hanks character in the move Cast Away…put it that way.

Politico’s attempt to depict Trump as “lonely” is just furthering the negative stereotype associated with the man since he first announced his political career – namely that Trump’s a miserable attention seeker who needs love constantly (literally and figuratively) in order to be satisfied and happy. While it’s true Trump appears to relish companionship there’s no one other than himself and maybe his family that’s fit to judge what makes him “lonely” as opposed to simply being consumed with the duties and responsibilities of the presidency.

Needless to say Trump faces perpetual resistance from the looney leftist fringe; it’s got to wear on a person.

A famous saying (often falsely attributed to President Harry Truman) goes “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Presidents are repetitively rumored to be “lonely” -- heck, even Obama was said to lack a big circle of close friends. Ronald Reagan was often pronounced as “Teflon” and hard to reach. George H.W. Bush was thought to be a privileged blue blood oil-man who didn’t relate to the common folk.

In recent times only big bubba Bill Clinton was believed to have a gaggle of back slappin’ loyal buds at close range during his long days and nights in the executive mansion – and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the serial philanderer might’ve benefitted from less social “interaction.”

Dovere’s hit piece claims the Trump situation is unique from the others, however, “Trump’s White House isn’t like any other White House, though, and there haven’t been a lot of good days. Everyone who’s there is living with the pressure of the investigations, the secrecy, the backstabbing, knowing that anyone could leak anything at any moment. Then they’re living with the reality of the investigations, which they puff up and pass off in public, but that are always there, lurking in every conversation.”

Really? Every conversation? It’s great amusement for the media to suggest such a thing. For if journalists fear the environment has become too “normal” under Trump then maybe his approval ratings will rise and they’ll be semi-permanently saddled with a president who continuously berates them for being the biased losers that they are.

The Hicks controversy is nothing new, a media created distraction intended to steer attention away from the real happenings in the White House. Trump held another one of his “listening session” type meetings with Republicans and Democrats last week (unfortunately to discuss practically obliterating the Second Amendment) and the media doesn’t want him to be seen as competent and good at negotiating -- so they invent the fallacy he’s friendless and “lonely” because Hicks (who happens to be very attractive) is leaving.

Yet another reason why the impending Hicks departure was overblown is the fact Trump obviously keeps his own counsel and philosophies on how to handle the media. A communications director is tasked with getting a president’s message out to the nation – but isn’t Trump handling a lot of those responsibilities himself via social media and his regular (and almost perpetual) exposure to the cameras? It’s not like Trump is Obama who practically hid from public view.

There will always be a need for communications staff, but maybe the roles are changing now. Matthew Nussbaum of Politico reported, “The latest tumult roiling the communications operation underscored an enduring reality: serving a president who considers himself his own best spokesman has always proved a challenge for Trump’s team. Trump himself has said his own spokespeople cannot necessarily be trusted to deliver accurate information — a declaration he made in the wake of the shifting explanations for firing FBI director James Comey.

“In the whirl of Trump’s Washington, only Trump can keep track of his shifting positions, changing allegiances and on-and-off feuds. That reality leaves much of the White House in a constant state of catch-up and allows the president to lurch from crisis to crisis, often of his own making. And it has at time threatened his agenda, when a dashed-off tweet can jeopardize a vote or derail a planned meeting.”

Threatened his agenda…according to whom? How could a tweet impact a vote other than to provide an excuse for some compromised lawmaker to change his or her mind on something at the last minute to spite Trump?

The “Trump’s tweets hurt his presidency” line of argument is employed by the media and his enemies to make it seem like there’s chaos in the White House if his communications people aren’t passing along the latest Trump-ian position. The reality is Trump’s positions change slightly from moment to moment – as negotiations tend to do. Last week’s crazy back-and-forth with Democrats over gun legislation demonstrates the concept perfectly.

Trump’s “big” ideas don’t shift, however, which makes the media and swamp creatures very distraught.

As far as the communications staff being upset or left out on a limb by Trump’s waffling – who cares? Trump shouldn’t worry about the contentment of his underlings. If the folks in the White House press office are perturbed by Trump’s top-down management style they can always seek employment elsewhere.

“Officials around Trump have long been used to the boss’ habit of veering off topic, picking unnecessary fights and jumping between positions. But none have to face the various contradictions and controversies day in and day out like the communications shop, which is regularly a target for blame inside the West Wing, especially in the wake of the Porter fiasco,” Nussbaum added.

The press clearly isn’t taking to Trump’s approach of interacting with them directly instead of leaving the job up to his “communications team.” If anything it’s an inconvenience for media members – instead of twisting around the unofficial mutterings of the staff they have to deal with Trump’s actual words themselves. It’s much harder to spin something from an actual source.

When you get down to it, shouldn’t reporters be happy (essentially Trump is doing their jobs for them)? Instead of having to hunt down quotes the real story comes straight from the president’s mouth – or from his Twitter account. Why are they upset? Is it because they’re used to digesting the news crumbs tossed at them from Obama’s robotic establishment communications team?

As was revealed last week Trump’s already been remarkably successful in passing agenda items. The sheer pace of policy that’s proceeding from day-to-day is a challenge to keep track of for the media. The talkers would prefer to bog down in stupid non-stories like the recent Porter/domestic violence affair rather than feature real news about what’s happening in government.

They also love it whenever a former Trump “friend” goes off the reservation. Pete Kasperowicz reported last week in the Washington Examiner, “Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday that morale at the White House is ‘terrible,’ and that more staff would be leaving if the problem isn't fixed.

“’The morale inside the White House ... the morale is terrible,’ he said on CNN. ‘The reason why the morale is terrible is that the rule by fear and intimidation does not work in a civilian environment.’

“’Here we are, it's messed up, it'll be up to the president to figure out if he wants to fix it or not,’ he added. ‘If he doesn't, it'll stay like this and I predict more departures.’”

It’s common knowledge Scaramucci didn’t get along with new (at the time) chief of staff John Kelly who apparently needed only about five minutes to send “The Mooch” packing. With Scaramucci running to CNN to spread filth about his former boss’s administration it’s not hard to see why the guy didn’t last long. There are plenty of skeletons in the prior communications director’s closet – he probably shouldn’t be talking.

For all of his detractors it should be noted there are plenty of folks who find President Trump’s candid communications style (and openly transparent negotiations) refreshing. Why should policymaking be kept behind closed doors or locked up in a communications director’s mind?

It’s nonsense.

The media will never cease complaining about the way Trump handles communications – or anything else the outsider non-politician who now occupies the Oval Office does. Critics are a dime a dozen in the swamp; what really counts is what’s getting done right before our eyes.

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