In the olden days of presidential appointments and nominations, the focus was justifiably on the nominees — their background, what their policy positions said about the role they would play in an administration and whether or not they would get confirmed.
But the recent round of nominations in this administration also says a lot about Donald Trump. For one thing, all the nominees look the part — a vapid and meaningless qualification that has, according to early transition team officials and Trump associates, proven to be a central driver in Donald Trump’s decision-making on key appointments.
His newest selections? Friday, Trump announced that he has picked William Barr — who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush — to replace ousted AG Jeff Sessions.
He also announced the selection of Heather Nauert — the chief State Department spokeswoman — to replace the outgoing Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the United Nations. At the same time, chief of staff John Kelly is reportedly headed out the door soon, with Trump eyeing Nick Ayers, Mike Pence’s chief of staff, to replace him.