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Trump administration keystones: Mike Pence, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon

Written By | Nov 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2016 – President elect Donald Trump has a very aggressive agenda and he needs to work with Congress in order to make anything happen.  His success will have everything to do with whom Trump chooses to be a member of his upper echelon. And we are learning that those that saw him emerge as the choice of the American people, will see him through the process of being the most transformative President of modern history.

Mr. Trump’s closest administration positions have been filled and his upper echelon is beginning to form. Last week Vice President elect Mike Pence, who we can assume will not be relegated to being a place holder in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building has assumed the important reigns of formulating the transition staff, working side by side with Ivanka, Don and Eric Trump, as well as Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Trigger-warning to a fragile America

Today the Trump campaign has announced that the Republican National Chairman Reince (rhymes with “pints”) Priebus will be President Trump’s Chief of Staff and Trump for President CEO Stephen K. Bannon will serve as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President.

The appointments are a meeting of the minds between the “old guard” of the Republican party and the new aggressive “people’s party” emerging from the 2016 elections.  Like the old song goes, the Republican Party is making new friends, while keeping the old.

Bannon and Priebus created an effective leadership team during the campaigns final months. Together they have, and will continue, to work to transform the federal government, bringing their skills and knowledge to the administration’s goals of making making government more efficient, effective and productive.

Now Bannon and Priebus will be part of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s transition team as we move toward  Inauguration Day, when President elect Trump says the work will begin in earnest, and immediately.

“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” said President-elect Trump. “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”

Both gentlemen will work closely together, according to the campaign.

Priebus has weathered a lot during the upstart campaign of Donald Trump. Early on he accepted and embraced the Republican’s nominee, sticking by him as Chairman of the Republican National Committee and without a doubt, helped to steer him to victory.

“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” added Priebus. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great President for all Americans.”

The job of Chief of Staff is integral to the success of the administration, but if we have been watching our presidential tv shows – from West Wing to House of Cards to Designated Survivor – we know that the jobs is filled with long hours – it defines the terms of 24/7.

Priebus will be in charge of the West Wing with the power of the President’s trust behind, working to advance the President’s agenda on everything from policy to staffing and the 24/7 day-to-day operations of the Oval Office – including who does, and does not have access to the Oval Office.

He is also the one that moves the president’s agenda and legislation through Congress and he will be an effective span between the old Republican party and the movement created by Donald Trump in which he has vowed to stop “politics as usual”.

Donald Trump is President-elect and we can make America great again

There can be little doubt that now that Trump has won, pulling the House and Senate with him, that Priebus has a lot to say, if not behind closed doors, about how those hard won bodies of political power will work with and treat our 45th President.

Over the last election cycle, Priebus served as a bridge to mainstream Republicans, legitimized Trump in public and attempting to help him soften his rough edges, and put down the smart phone, in private.

Telling is that in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Trump recognized Preibus, while delegating his running mate Mike Pence to a post speech foot note, during his victory speech inviting the RNC chairman up to the podium calling him an “amazing guy” and a “superstar” comparing the Chairman to Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

The decision may be decisive on many levels. Priebus is a long time friend and ally of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Priebus, a political operative starting at the age of 16, is a native of Wisconsin and a lawyer. He served as state treasurer working his way up through the Wisconsin Republican Party to become chairman, putting him on the Republican National Committee, where he eventually became general counsel to then chairman Michael Steele.

Along with Vice President elect Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, each have their allies in the House and Congress and as a team, under President Trump, should be able to avoid congressional gridlock and political “bumps in the road,” particularly those that declared as a part of the #NeverTrump coalition.

Media is quick to stir the political pot saying that an appointment of Washington insiders is opposite of his vow to ‘drain the swamp’, but those with an ounce of political knowledge, know that in order for the Trump administration to enact those campaign promises – jobs, economy, Obamacare, and immigration  – it will take someone that knows the past and present, and can help Trump create a new future for the Republican party.

“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” added Priebus. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great President for all Americans.”

Also under Chief of Staff consideration was Stephen Bannon, who has been appointed Special Counsel to the President. Bannon was favored by many who wanted to see a scorch and burn presidency and there are media fears that Trump’s fervent supporters on the right that were voting for a president who wanted to “drain the swamp” of Washington.

“I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump Administration,” noted Bannon. “We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”

Following Paul Manfort’s departure in August 2016,  Mr. Bannon, called the blowtorch boss of Breitbart News, was named CEO of Trump’s campaign. Bannon stayed out of the limelight providing a steadying presence for Trump on the campaign trail and helping the GOP nominee sharpen his message.

Bannon graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 and holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In 1983, Bannon received an M.B.A. degree with honors from Harvard Business School. A former United States Navy officer, he served aboard USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964) as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet.

He is the co-founder and executive chairman of the Government Accountability Institute and the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. He has been involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked.  (Wikipedia)

Mr. Bannon criticism of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been harsh. Bannon called him a “saboteur” in favor of amnesty for undocumented immigrants and describing him as “universally despised” by conservatives. His article “Paul Ryan Betrays America: $1.1 Trillion, 2,000-Plus Page Omnibus Bill Funds ‘Fundamental Transformation of America’,” cast the speaker as a co-conspirator with President Obama, working to boost Obama’s policies.

Bannon’s role going forward will be Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President, a position that is a high-ranking assistant to the President of the United States, and a senior member of the Executive Office of the President.

In the Obama Administration, the position was altered to allow three senior advisors: David Axelrod, Pete Rouse, and Valerie Jarrett,  who has served as Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison.

John Podesta was the last person to hold the position before he left to join the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign of 2016 as chairman, where his derogatory emails revealed via Wikileakes painted him as a derisive element in her campaign.


Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.