President Trump’s decision to replace ineffectual White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus with Homeland Security chief John Kelly – a former Army general with a history of smart, effective leadership – makes complete sense. What’s also worth noting is that Kelly is an honorable man, not a political hack or fixer. This is reflected by a CNN report Monday that he was so upset with Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey in May that he called Comey and said he was considering resigning, only to be urged by Comey to stay on the job.

Kelly got off to a fast start Monday with his decision to force out volatile, profane Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci after less than two weeks on the job. This may augur the arrival of a newly professional, organized, results-oriented White House.

That’s what everyone should hope. While Trump hating appears to be a full-time job for millions of Americans, the president has fateful decisions to make about health care, taxes, trade and environmental policies, and a foreign policy minefield to deal with – only starting with North Korea’s belligerence and Russia’s provocations. If Kelly can get Trump to focus on these big-picture issues instead of his preoccupation with picking fights and score-settling on Twitter, that would be wonderful news.

Unfortunately, that’s a big if.

Trump, not Priebus, has been the primary cause of the administration’s turmoil and aimless drift. Unless the president accepts that he must focus, there’s only so much good a new chief of staff can do.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: