In about a week, he sold his company, lost his wife, and lost his job. Not bad for a kid from the neighborhood.
The pace of Anthony Scaramucci’s rise and fall can only be exceeded by whatever actor was going to portray him on Saturday Night Live. That guy never even got his 15 minutes.
The Mooch’s philosophy was to “kill the first guy you see.” He promised that “they’ll all be fired,” and he was right. First he got White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to resign, then he got rid of Chief of Staff Reince Preibus. A week later, Cain, having killed Abel, died of complications.
But if it was a bad development for The Mooch, it was at a positive sign for the White House. Preibus’ replacement, John Kelly reportedly demanded his ouster on his first morning on the job, suggesting Trump might finally have a chief of staff with some cachet.
Don’t get me wrong, only a fool would bet on stability from this administration. We have long since given up on a Trumpian “pivot.” But if we concede that maintaining order requires some sort of hierarchy and chain of command, then Kelly is much better equipped to impose this sort of discipline (and command some respect from the president) than was Priebus.
Something anyone who has ever taken over a new job learns: You’ll never be in a better position to negotiate than before you accept the offer. Want a certain amount of money, a corner office, or two weeks for vacation? You’d better get that written in blood before you start your next gig (and then, it’s still safe to assume your new boss will still renege on at least half of what you were promised). You’ll never have more leverage than before you accept a job, and you’ll never be in a better position to shake things up than on day one.
General Kelly clearly understands shock and awe.
That said, Donald Trump is a seventy-one-year old billionaire who went through three campaign chiefs. Six-months into his presidency, he is working on his second chief of staff. If — a big if — he can gain control of his own shop, his presidency could look very different six months from now.
We don’t know what will happen to Scaramucci. It’s even possible he will take on a different role at the White House. Or maybe he will go down as someone whose star burned bright (too bright) for a moment, but then turned into a trivia question.
The immediate question: Who will be the next communications director?
The good news is that the White House can survive without one; the bad news is that signing on to that position is tantamount to being the new drummer for Spinal Tap. The first guy had to quit before he even started (apparently due to allegations of a sex scandal); Scaramucci didn’t make it two weeks. And Trump, as we know, is the only person who speaks for Trump.
The guy to watch now is a Marine general, quite an upgrade from last week’s sensation—a guy who wore his macho-ness (Mooch-ness?) on his sleeve.
The big question is what difference the casting change will make, if any, for this so-far troubled young presidency.