Scaramucci is the right man for the job
As news broke of President Trump’s pick of Anthony Scaramucci for White House Communications Director, reporters and interested Americans rushed to learn more about the man who will now run the West Wing’s communications operations.
At first glance, Scaramucci appears to be an odd pick to former press secretaries and communications directors such as myself. But it makes a lot of sense. Those who fail to see it don’t understand the new media world in which we are all operating, where TV pundits now carry more weight than someone with a long resume who would have once been considered impressive inside the beltway.
In other words, you’re only as good as your last TV hit.
The fact that Scaramucci was not only defending Trump on virtually every cable news show but was also recently responsible for the scalps of at least three CNN journalists — while Spicer and his team had been relegated to off-camera briefings — means that the decision should have come as no surprise.
So, who is Anthony Scaramucci?
In short, he is the right man for the job.
Anyone who has seen Scaramucci in the halls of Fox News and Fox Business knows that he carries himself with great confidence which is backed by considerable business, political, media, and life experience that will serve him well in one of the toughest jobs in the White House.
First, his impressive background will help President Trump better sell his pro-business agenda to the American people. As a former businessman and hedge fund manager, Scaramucci understands the complexities of tax reform, American business investment capital, and economics. As a former TV host, he can help the White House translate those complex reforms in a way that will be meaningful to the American people in the Rust Belt, the heartland, and beyond.
Second, while Democrats will critique his Wall Street ties, Scaramucci is actually a product of a self-described “middle class,” upbringing as the child of a construction worker in Long Island, N.Y. It is undoubtedly where Scaramucci learned how to thrive as he went on to Goldman Sachs, where dues are paid by the sweat of one’s hustle. In fact, the resilient Scaramucci was once hired, fired, and then re-hired by the firm, all in the same year. That ability to successfully ride out change is a trait that will serve him well in a White House where “change” is the order of the day.
Third, Scaramucci is a political operative. It may surprise Democrats that Scaramucci served as fundraiser for then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 which gives him a boost of bipartisan credibility. That doesn’t mean Democrats won’t critique him; they will. But Scaramucci is someone who understands what endeared Obama to the press back then, and he carried a bit of that magnanimous swagger with him when he took over the podium today. You can bet that his media relationships will more closely resemble those of Obama than, say, President George W. Bush.
This is not to say that outgoing communications director Sean Spicer didn’t do a fine job; he did. However, it is not unusual for the White House to experience staff turnover, especially after exhaustive years on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016 and the 2014 midterms before that, which were also successful for the GOP in large part thanks to Spicer. However, as Spicer is reported to have said in his resignation, the time has come for a fresh face.
Again, no one should be surprised by today’s musical chairs in the White House. Trump has already proven in his other appointments that he strongly favors CEOs and military generals to get the job done. With the appointments of General James Mattis as defense secretary, Gen. John Kelly as homeland security secretary, and Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, Trump has appointed the most generals to a U.S. cabinet since World War I. When it comes to business matters, he’s no different. The president prefers Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and the legendary Carl Icahn to take care of business. Why would his communications pick be any different?
In fact, the only surprising thing about today’s announcement is how surprised the mainstream media remain at the pick. Perhaps now they’ll finally believe that candidate Donald Trump meant what he said — that he intended to fulfill his campaign promises to shake up Washington, starting with his own White House.
Jennifer Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. A GOP communications strategist, she served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, recalls in Colorado, and California’s Prop. 8. Previously, she served as a writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates for Fox News.
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