The New York Times is reporting that President-elect Donald Trump has appointed his running mate, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, to chair his transition team. He takes the reigns from Chris Christie, who previously headed up the effort, when things were far from rosy for Team Trump. I think it was a good move.
The president-elect told advisers he wanted to tap Mr. Pence’s Washington experience and contacts to help move the process along, according to people familiar with the discussions. An executive committee, which will include members of Congress, will advise Mr. Pence as the process moves forward.
Mr. Christie, along with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired lieutenant general who has been a top campaign supporter, will serve as vice chairs of the transition, the sources said.
The full transition team will now include a dozen new members: Rebekah Mercer; Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, Peter Thiel, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Trump’s three adult children and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
All kinds of speculation surround Trump’s cabinet and staff picks. Bannon has been thrown around for chief of staff, although Kushner accompanied Trump to the White House on Thursday to meet with President Obama and his staff. CNBC has speculated about Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, for the Treasury slot.
The NYT reported that Trump Tower has now become Fortress Trump (or Barad-dûr, if you’re a “not my president” street protester).
The building has now been ringed by Jersey barriers and concrete blocks marked with “NYPD.” The Secret Service has set up checkpoints on each end of 56th Street near the tower, and pedestrian access has been restricted around the building.
What was a kind of side-show–the transition team of a losing campaign–has now gone into overdrive after Trump’s win. Now the business of creating an actual team that will run the White House and the leviathan national government will have to be hammered out in a very short number of weeks.
I am hoping Trump chooses well, and doesn’t pander to his Twitter fans and cult followers. Pence is a good choice to lead the team, with his knowledge of Washington, D.C., his good relations with conservatives, and the fact that he has Trump’s trust and ear.