Cockburn was intrigued to read reports that President Trump is supposedly tiring of his ‘acting’ chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, while at the same time asserting he is ‘not in danger of losing his job any time soon.’
This apparent paradox has a simple explanation: Mick Mulvaney is the Melania Trump of chiefs of staff. The former South Carolina congressman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon because he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There may be rumors of separation, even divorce, but Mulvaney will remain.
On round three of his chiefs-of-staff, as in his marriages, the president has found his imperfect, but practical balance.
Reince Priebus, like Ivana Trump, was Trump’s starter wife. Priebus anchored Trump’s 2016 general election effort and built the early administration. Then, as with Ivana, Trump moved on. The terms of departure were relatively amiable, however. Priebus now has a hefty consulting practice based around the business of the sitting president. Trump, for what it’s worth, once hosted his first ex-wife’s subsequent weddings.
John Kelly, like Marla Maples, was a stranger romance. The four-star general was dynamic, the press liked him at first, but he was not built to last. There was too much competing ego.
Cockburn apologizes if he’s pushing the points of comparison here. The point is this: Mulvaney is Melania: a return to form. Melania, like Ivana, is an Eastern European model. Mulvaney, like Priebus, is an old Republican hand. Sure, there are troubles: but it’s Trump’s most stable relationship yet.
Stability has its perks. Mulvaney sets the president’s schedule and, and like Melania, rules the roost, overseeing personnel. Melania and Mulvaney apparently get on, too. The First Lady secured elevation for her spox, Stephanie Grisham, to White House spokeswoman and communications director Tuesday. Mulvaney may have helped, Cockburn understands. Love is gentle, love is kind.