Oh, wow. New White House chief of staff John Kelly—have you heard that he’s a general?—is really whipping Donald Trump’s operation into shape. Get ready to be impressed: Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan report that, thanks to Kelly’s military discipline, the West Wing is now running at the level of professionalism you could find in almost any office in the country.
- Even POTUS appears to be trying to impress his four-star handler, picking up his game by acting sharper in meetings and even rattling off stats.
- Meetings are shorter and stick to their scheduled topic.
- Everyone — even uber-aides Jared and Ivanka, and economic adviser Gary Cohn — is being deferential to Kelly.
That is some smooth operating right there. Meetings stick to their scheduled topic? The president of the goddamned United States has started paying attention to what’s going on around him and maybe even retaining some of the information his staff provides? Talk about clearing the bar—the lowest possible bar. The professionalism bar you’re expected to clear in your first job out of school. Maybe during your stint on high school yearbook committee. All because Donald Trump has found a military big daddy he wants to impress.
And the sad thing is, the big question here is how long Trump can stick to this level of discipline before he starts having temper tantrums at being expected to pay attention and do—as president—the quality of work every middle manager in the country does as a matter of course.