Trump, who during his campaign promised to “Drain the swamp,” has named RNC chair Reince Priebus, his chief of staff. Reince Priebus is currently serving his third term as the chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and is the opposite of a Washington outsider. For someone who has such an outspoken disdain for the members establishment, Trump sure is surrounding himself with a lot of them. If Donald Trump wanted to “Drain the swamp,” why did he select one of the leaders of the swamp as his right hand?
Well, while choosing Priebus may enrage some of Trumps supporters, this will help Trump mend the strained relationship that he has with the GOP establishment. Repairing relationships is critical since Trump will need to work with the GOP if he wants to be able to make any of the changes he promised. Throughout his campaign, Trump attacked and criticized the Republican party. Even going so far as calling Paul Ryan “very weak and ineffective” and tweeted that “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”. Now that he is the president, he has to repair his relationship with the Republican senate and house and Priebus, who is close with Paul Ryan, is the best pick for that. Unlike another candidate for chief of staff, Stephen K. Bannon, who is a hard-core critic of the GOP establishment and a part of the alt-right movement, would only alienate Congress further.
In a time when Trump needs to build bridges, not burn them, Priebus is the perfect chief of staff.
Furthermore, Trump picking Priebus isn’t a surprise as he has been reported to be on the shortlist of candidates for chief of staff because Priebus is one of the few Republican insiders who didn’t come out against Trump during this election. Trump may also owe part of his victory in the presidential election to Reince Priebus. Since Romney’s loss in 2012, Priebus has been working hard to expand the RNCs ground operations to include “315 field offices staffed by 7,600 paid employees and fellows. Without all of the infrastructure that Priebus had built, the Trump campaign’s entire ground game in, for example, the crucial state of Florida, would have consisted of only 1 field office in contrast to Clinton’s 51. So while Priebus should thank Trump for helping the Republicans retake control of the White House, Trump should also thank Priebus for helping him in states like the all-important Florida.
Although picking Priebus as his chief of staff fails to help Trump “Drain the swamp,” It will help him fulfill all his other promises like building a wall and repealing/replacing ObamaCare. Trump’s supporters will probably overlook the fact that he has appointed such a prominent member of the establishment as his chief of staff if Trump delivers on his other promises. In conclusion, Trump will be likelier to succeed as a president with the experienced and well connected Priebus at his side.