Now that the shock is starting to wear off over Donald Trump’s stunning upset in the presidential election a week ago, the biggest story in national politics is what he intends to do with his enormous power and who will help him do it.
That means the selection of cabinet officers, with the most high-profile position being that of secretary of state.
George W. Bush picked Colin Powell immediately after winning the recount election in late 2000; Barack Obama picked Hillary Clinton quick after his election in 2008 — what does Donald do?
The two names floated for the position are not being welcomed with universal approval, to say the least. I’m talking about Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton.
Because of his passionate advocacy for Trump during the campaign season (to put it politely), Rudy apparently has the pick of the litter of jobs in the new administration, and he wants State. But what’s his experience there? Apparently it consists of giving a lot of speeches and consulting work.
Then there’s his business background, which includes lobbying for Citgo, a U.S.-based subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil conglomerate, as well as business with Qatar, which could be problematic when he has his confirmation hearing before the Senate.
Then there’s the decision to invade Iraq, arguably the biggest foreign policy debacle in the U.S. since Vietnam.
Trump stood out during the campaign for his strident opposition to it, boasting he was always against it. Though that claim was disputed, the more salient point was how, more than any other Republican running in the race, he assailed the war in incendiary terms, freaking out some of the GOP establishment (i.e. Jeb Bush and friends).
Rudy was for the war. So was Bolton. Bigly.
Again, this comes down to: What Does Donald Believe? If he thinks that the invasion of Iraq was such a horrible thing, how could he choose as his top emissary to the world somebody who fervently believed it was the right thing to do?
Maybe this is a big head feint, or maybe there isn’t any prominent person in the GOP who was against the war with the credentials and gravitas to lead at State? It’s one of the many, many questions the whole world will be interested in learning about very rapidly.
In other news …
Dan Rather was in St. Petersburg last Friday night. The 85-year-old reporter said we’re now in a “post-truth” era.
For the first time in his time as president, Barack Obama endorsed more than 150 Democrats running for legislative seats around the nation. In Florida, he backed 13 Dems — and at best will come out 6-7 on those picks.
The Tampa Bay Bucs’ Mike Evans heard enough negative feedback, no doubt, to have a change of heart about sitting down for the national anthem in the Trump era. Among his leading critics was Pinellas County state Sen. Jack Latvala.
Lisa Montelione is backing Luis Viera to succeed her in the Tampa City Council District 7 seat.
Pam Bondi and attorneys general in four other states and the District of Columbia announced a deal regarding ticket pricing with the NFL.