In less than one day, Gen. John Kelly put everyone on notice that he means business.
From the moment it was announced that Reince Priebus was out as chief of staff and he would be replaced by General Kelly, there was speculation that Kelly would overhaul the configuration of the White House. It is clear after day one that will be the case.
Kelly, a retired four-star general, was thought to be a choice that would restore much-needed discipline to the West Wing. With the firing of communications director Anthony Scaramucci on day one, we now know this is at the top of Kelly's agenda.
Scaramucci had only been on the job a little more than a week before being shown the door to give Kelly a clean slate. However, in his first week, Scaramucci proved to be a loose cannon with his off-color comments to a reporter regarding Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, something that Kelly will not accept.
The removal of Scaramucci indicates that as White House Chief of Staff, General Kelly will run the White House like a military operation. His goal will be to have the West Wing operating with the discipline and precision and a proper chain of command, the way he did when working with the men and women in our armed services.
Too often in President Trump's first six months there has been confusion and disorganization among members of the staff. When there wasn't one staffer on the morning news in the predicament of contradicting something said by a separate surrogate somewhere else, there would be contradiction with a tweet from the President later in the day.
This sporadic disorganization has, in large part, contributed to the some of the ineffectiveness the White House has suffered in advocating its message to the American people. Not only has the disorganization hampered the White House's messaging, it was also largely to blame for the White House's largest legislative shortcoming in the Obamacare repeal and replace efforts.
Many point to the ineffectiveness and disorganization of Reince Priebus when citing the difficulty organizing Congressional support for the bills in both the House and Senate. General Kelly will infuse the White House with an attention to detail that will help bring discipline in an effort to eliminate the confusion and disorganization.
The appointment of General Kelly to Chief of Staff – and giving him full authority – shows President Trump has finally reached a breaking point with White House leakers. One thing you can be sure of is that General Kelly will not tolerate any leakers. With a lifelong military background, he is a man who has made a career of putting his country before himself. Anyone working for President Trump not doing the same will be dealt with appropriately (hint: they will be relieved of their duties). From this point forward, the Trump Administration and General Kelly will have no time for anyone not paddling the boat in the same direction and will not put up with any undermining from White House officials.
During his time as Secretary of Homeland Security General Kelly made massive improvements, including border crossings declining 70 percent. Kelly has made a career out of serving his country and meeting his objectives. Now, he will be faced with different challenges: eliminating leaks and improving the consistency of the White House messaging, all while trying to advance President Trump's agenda.
However, if his track record is any indication, it is a safe bet that General Kelly will have the entire White House staff on the same page and operating like a well-oiled machine in the very near future.
Evan Berryhill is a former Communications Advisor to Rep. David B. McKinley, and current law student. He can be reached via Twitter at @EvBerryhill.
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