I know it’s easy to take the bait with stories like this, but just like the horse race stories, the media loves process stories. What better way to handle what’s going on after the election than to write stories on how the transition is going to pieces and everything is a mess?
There are two stories out tonight doing just that. First, from The Huffington Post and Sam Stein:
Donald Trump’s transition team is nearing a state of stasis, causing concern among both Democrats and Republicans in Washington that his White House will be woefully ill-prepared once he is inaugurated.
The primary cause, according to multiple sources, is the revamped leadership structure at Trump’s transition offices ― the demotion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from the top post and his replacement with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
On Tuesday morning, for example, the Obama administration alerted the press that it had not yet received a memorandum of understanding signed by Pence, which would legally allow the old and new administrations to begin discussions on how to hand off critical government functions. That document still hadn’t arrived by 4:30 p.m., and a White House official did not immediately confirm if it had been received since.
The disarray has left agencies virtually frozen, unable to communicate with the people tasked with replacing them and their staff.
Note it says the Obama administration alerted the press. How convenient. Seriously, if the document arrived Wednesday morning, would it be so terrible? We’re talking about the federal government. When was the last time anybody ever accused the federal government of moving too fast on something?
He goes on:
The transition dysfunction extends beyond failure to promptly execute a memorandum of understanding. According to several sources close to the Trump transition team and inside the Obama administration, the president elect and his staff have had difficulty finding able-minded Republicans willing to take on critical posts.
Do you know what this is? It’s Republicans jockeying for a plum position within the new administration. Think about it for a moment. There aren’t many high-level or cabinet positions available in a pool of jobs that number in the thousands. Some people want those important jobs. The kind of jobs where people from The Huffington Post go to when they want some information or a quote.
The NY Times also got in on the fretting:
Still, the slow and uncertain start to what is normally a rapid and meticulously planned transfer of power could have profound implications for Mr. Trump’s nascent administration. It challenges the president-elect’s efforts to gain control of the federal bureaucracy and to begin building a staff fully briefed on what he will face in the Oval Office on Day 1.
This is absurd. Trump has assembled a team of completely qualified individuals who understand these processes and will likely ensure a smooth transition. Much of this sounds like pissy Obama administration officials who are annoyed they’re not handing off to Hillary Clinton (and in the process angling for a job in her administration) and Trump supporters who are doing what they can to make Trump and his top people nervous enough to fill positions for filling them.
It’s been all of one week since the election. This will all sort itself out.