White House: Spicer’s out, ‘The Mooch’ is in
“It hasn’t been easy being Sean Spicer for the past six months,” said Rob Crilly in CNN.com. From day one of his job as White House press secretary, Spicer was “called on to defend the indefensible”— starting with the bizarre claim that President Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest ever, “period,” even though photos proved otherwise. From that point onward, Spicer painfully stumbled through briefing after briefing while lying in defense of Trump, garbling names, sputtering about “Holocaust centers,” and hiding from reporters in the White House bushes. Now, after 58 news conferences, a “perfect Saturday Night Live skewering, and countless packs of stress gum,” said Erin Gloria Ryan in The New York Times, a humiliated Spicer has given up. Trump’s appointment of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director was the final indignity for Spicer, who resigned moments after it was announced. Goodbye, Spicey. “We’ll miss you.”
Enter Scaramucci, aka “The Mooch,” said Maureen Dowd, also in The New York Times, Trump’s “wealthy, mini-me Manhattan bro with wolfy smile and slick coif.” It’s easy to see why the president has turned to Scaramucci to fix his messaging. “A self-promoter extraordinaire and master salesman,” The Mooch ran his own hedge fund, SkyBridge, and exudes self-confidence. He spent the past six months adamantly defending the Trump administration on cable news. Scaramucci has no real communications experience, said Jennifer Kerns in Washington Examiner.com, but he’s “the right man for the job.” Educated at Harvard Law School, the financier is composed, articulate, and not easily flustered. As “the child of a construction worker” from working-class Long Island, N.Y., he also intuitively knows how to speak to Trump voters.
Scaramucci is also loyal and combative, and “will bring the storm Trump wants,” said Linette Lopez in BusinessInsider.com. He vowed this week “to fire everybody” to stop the leaks from inside the faction-riven White House; a purge of establishment Republicans, including Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, is coming. Scaramucci may be smoother than Spicer, said Michael Gerson in The Washington Post, but he “won’t make a dent in Trump’s problems.” This is an administration with no coherent policy goals, torn apart by infighting and chaos, and utterly incapable of governing. “Trump does not have a communications problem; he has a leadership problem.” ■