Since Mr. Trump came in to office in January people have been trying to figure out the power structure inside the White House. There has been any number of theories and untold amounts of conjecture about just how orders and order flows in Trump land. Very early on it was thought to be a bi-polar battle for influence between the chief of staff Mr. Priebus and the senior adviser Mr. Bannon. This theory was quickly disproved when we saw that the chief of staff wouldn’t wield nearly as much power as was traditional. Some then assumed that the White House would run through Bannon, who would serve as a gatekeeper for the president. This has also been disproved as we have seen him repeatedly denied, upset, and even demoted out of the National Security Council. Now some have speculated that it is really Mr. Kushner and the favored child Ivanka. There is no hard evidence to support this either.
This question will be coming up yet again in the near future. Sean Spicer has just stepped down as the White House press secretary. He was a close ally of Reince Priebus and the two of them had ties together going back to before the 2016 campaign when they both worked together for the Republican National Committee. With this in mind I think we can safely and finally rule him out as a contender for the power behind the throne, to the extent that such a thing can exist in this reality. He was brought in to appease the establishment and provide at least some experience in Washington and that is all he has done since this administration began.
So what about our Trump whisperer and the former editor of Breitbart, Mr. Steve Bannon then? He led the final push of the campaign and has been widely regarded as holding quite a fair amount of influence over the president himself. It seems he has consistently lost every personnel battle he has tried to engage in however. The most glaring example of this I think is when we saw Michael Flynn, fervent Trump supporter and Bannon ally, pushed out in favor of former general H.R. McMaster. McMaster himself being viewed as a more conventional conservative, at least on the national security issues that he would come to be involved in. We don’t even know who Bannon favored to fill the role after Flynn departed all we do know is that Bannon did not favor McMaster. In addition to all of this I think it is worth noting that the mainstream hasn’t heard anything note worth out of Bannon for some time now. He seems to becoming increasingly irrelevant.
This leaves us with one real candidate for a pole of power in the White House and that is Ivanka and her husband Mr. Kushner. This is represented by their ever expanding roles in the administration. It has been decried as nepotism. I don’t think this is quite right, I think it is paranoia and incompetence more than it is anything else. This isn’t about them being his family this seems to be more about Mr. Trump knowing that he can trust them specifically. The case for them being the center of power was also boosted today by tandem news that a gentleman by the name of Anthony Scaramucci had been named to the post of White House communications director. He has been a vociferous defender of the president in the media and has background profile quite similar to Ivanka and Jared.
If my hunch here is correct this is a bad news for the Republican party. They are both well known liberals and have been Democratic party advocates in the past. Since being directly involved in the administration they have held true to these trends and have push center left policies and ideas onto the president. President Trump has shown every degree of willingness to listen to them. I have always claimed that Trump would be left of center and the rise of his daughter and son in law vindicates me. How this affects things going forward we can not begin to know yet though. If Republicans want to protect themselves though this would be an excellent time for congress to begin reasserting itself.
I could be completely wrong however. It is entirely possible that there is no real center of power outside of Trump himself. Some people have also argued that this administration runs on nothing but cable ratings and chaos. The sheer fickle will of the president being all that matters. This seemingly can’t be ruled out either given the erratic messaging and constant incoherence. We can’t know for certain. All that we can know for certain is that it has only been six months. There is a lot of chaos, and a lot of intrigue left to experience.