Bravado does not translate to any ability to fill the job of comms chief but in the Trump White House, competency is of far less value than sycophancy
Anthony Scaramucci moves quickly, but not always coherently. In so many ways, the new White House communications director is so much like his boss: grotesquely entertaining like a drunken party before the projectile vomiting begins.
Scaramucci, as his call to the New Yorker so aptly demonstrated, is undisciplined and unprincipled, over-reaching and under-qualified, petty, vindictive, and above all, in love with his own image on TV. In short, hes the perfectly-coiffed face of Donald Trumps presidency.
Now there are some signs that he is not in fact the media maven so beloved by political reporters many moons ago, when he was named to his job last week. It turns out that a bravado briefing from the White House podium does not translate to any ability to fill the job of communications director.
But no matter. This is the Trump White House, where competency is of far less value than sycophancy, and virtuous staffers are worth rather less than a Ruby Tuesday special.
Scaramucci, the Mooch, spent all of a week inside the West Wing before he reached breaking point, ripped off his Scooby Doo face mask, and revealed himself to be some kind of Torquemada, purging the White House of its evil heretics.
The subject of his Inquisition are the devil-worshippers known as leakers who speak to the press. The Mooch has brilliantly discovered these people working in the White House press office, where the disloyal lowlifes spend their days engaging with Beelzebubs reporters on all sorts of calumny ranging from transgender soldiers to Russian collusion.
His solution: fire one of them to teach them a good lesson. Well, maybe not fire them in the technical sense of the term. Maybe just tell everyone he was going to fire the innocent and hapless Michael Short a linchpin of the conspiracy from his vantage point as assistant press secretary. Like the great comms chief he is, the Mooch leaked news of Shorts departure before actually firing him. So Short quit of his own accord, denying strongly that he was a leaker at all.
The Mooch quickly decried the leakers who made the firing such a disaster somehow overlooking his own role in the leak before hatching a new plan: he would fire everyone in the press shop!
This is a unique communications strategy firing the entire press office. But it seems to be playing on the mind of the Mooch, who told his best buddy Sean Hannity (of Fox News fame) that he was going to hermetically seal off the press team, if he had to.
Why not vacuum pack the entire press shop and cook them sous-vide? That will stop their loose lips from flapping. Of course, it will also do nothing to close what the Mooch memorably called last week the arbitrage spread between what the Trumpistas and the media think of the great orange leader. But hey, thats the price of a good purge.
Much like his boss, the Mooch isnt in the West Wing to do the obvious stuff, such as communications. This Inquisition is much bigger than that. Having forced out Short and his old boss, Sean Spicer, he is finally turning his sights to the real enemy. That man is Reince Priebus, the weakest chief of staff in living memory, and the mentor to both Short and Spicer.
So on Wednesday night when the Moochs public financial disclosure forms became, you know, public, our Grand Inquisitor turned on the screws known as Twitter. In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept, he thundered, before deleting the tweet, like all good comms experts.
Never mind that the Harvard Law School grad is wrong about the felony and thus the investigation he is demanding: the public disclosure of a public disclosure form is no felony. The Moochs hair is on fire and nothing will extinguish the flames except the confession of the man he tagged in his tweet: Priebus.
In a bizarre and rambling CNN interview on Thursday as bizarre as Donald Trumps speech to the Boy Scouts the Mooch said it was up to Reince to clear his own name, before the Mooch cleared out his brain. If Reince wants to explain hes not a leaker, let him do that, he said on national television.