President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with his Cabinet in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 13, 2017. Clockwise, upper right are, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the president, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Every Time the President Focuses on a Policy, That Cabinet Secretary Disappears

What are the President’s big initiatives? Dealing with Obamacare would be one. Immigration would be another. Dealing with North Korea, China, and Russia would be a third — the reset of foreign policy.

Now look at the Cabinet.

We are without a Secretary of Health and Human Services. The President is promising action on healthcare now, but he is without his Secretary. Perhaps he can speed things up. Perhaps not.

We are without a Secretary of Homeland Security. The President has been sending mixed signals on immigration and has no Secretary of Homeland Security to help him implement his policies and give him advice.

We are, it would appear, soon to be without a Secretary of State.

It seems each time the President’s interests move to an area, that Secretary falls. With Price, to be sure, there are areas in which HHS could have moved faster, but as I understand it they were moving slowly to preemptively address concerns that would be raised in the inevitable lawsuit from the left. But, there is still a pattern here.

If the President were to announce a major education initiative, we could expect to see Betsy DeVos ousted. New initiatives on government housing? Expect to see Ben Carson ousted. It is becoming a familiar pattern that should worry the White House.

Real or imagined, when the President starts focusing on an area of policy that Cabinet Secretary’s days seem numbered. Only with Homeland Security is it anomalous because General Kelly was moved to the White House. Even then, though, as the President revisits and revises DACA, there is no Secretary of Homeland Security.

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Erick Erickson

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