This actually sounds more political of Kelly than I would expect, if you read the whole thing.
Officials in the West Wing tell The Daily Beast that Clarke had been in consideration for a White House post over the past seven weeks. But on Tuesday, the controversial former Milwaukee County lawman signed on with an outside group instead. He will serve as a spokesman and “senior adviser” for the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.
Four sources working in and close to the Trump White House said his failure to land a gig in the West Wing or at the Department of Homeland Security, where Clarke unsuccessfully sought a job earlier this year, was in large part the result of opposition from White House chief of staff John Kelly. Kelly led DHS until late July.
Though Clarke had been discussed for a possible White House communications or outreach role, Kelly’s position as chief of staff made the arrangement a “non-starter,” as one senior White House official put it. Earlier this year, while serving as DHS Secretary, Kelly had informed Clarke that an appointment to that department would not happen in part due to scandal surrounding the treatment of inmates in Clarke’s jail, and the ensuing negative media attention. According to two sources familiar with the discussions, this led to Clarke formally “rescinding” his intention to join the Trump administration in mid-June.
I’d go slow with these reports that keep attributing policy infighting motives to the generals. Not that they wouldn’t infight over policy, but it would be really uncharacteristic for them to infight over the laundry list of political litmus-test policies the gossipy leftosphere outlets are so quick to suggest.
The generals have spent entire careers steering clear of that stuff. Kelly didn’t get where he did in the Marine Corps by striking the attitudes that happen to resonate with progressive-left reporters on every topic under the sun. In the military that doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you a showboater with a real problem setting priorities.
Something tells me this is all a narrative, using guys like Kelly and Mattis as props for an agenda written elsewhere.
Consider: what does this Politico story do to affect the sentiments of political partisans? It encourages virulent anti-Trumpers to believe things they see as positive about John Kelly. On the other hand, it goads Trump supporters to believe ill of Kelly, which is advantageous if your purpose is to both discourage and divide. It poisons the atmosphere of belief and expectations about what’s going on in the White House, driving partisans on both sides to hold ever faster to their divisions.
That’s the beauty of hounding Trump’s own, original picks out of the Oval Office with innuendo campaigns. Their successors come in with no natural constituency of trust with the president or his voters. The media can poison the atmosphere in every way, just by affirming the successors for the things anti-Trumpers want to see done, like thwarting Trump and supposedly making him look small and increasingly “managed.”
The point isn’t to help Trump, his presidency, or the prospects for governance in America. It’s to prevent his presidency from ever seeming to reach an equilibrium of cohesion and performance.
And by attributing your favorite motives to the generals (as opposed to most people in Washington), you don’t run the risk of a lot of counter-narrative being run against you. The generals aren’t going to talk. And they don’t come from long political backgrounds of dealing in tactical leaks and innuendo. Their M.O. is riding out storms while remaining on course to the big objectives.
None of that is to say that Kelly didn’t lobby against David Clarke. Maybe he did. But based on his background and behavior as a Trump appointee, it’s a better bet that Kelly would argue against Clarke because of concerns like prior fame, perceived flamboyance, and whether he’d be a team player, or fit in with a tightly-run presidential staff, than that Kelly is motivated by the political perspective on Clarke favored by Politico writers.
If you haven’t figured out by now that most of the picture painted by the MSM about the Trump administration is tendentious bunk, there’s not much anyone can do for you. The insidious level at which we are being manipulated by the media has become quite remarkable. They’ve been writing according to specific narratives for many decades, of course. But in 2017, their repetitious insistence on things that don’t actually make sense is of a whole different order.