Declarations of political independence notwithstanding, the promise of power — or proximity to power — is a better sign of personal intent than onetime opposition to a candidate without a political pedigree or conservative credentials. What matters now is not the many who crave access to President-elect Trump, but the few who would reject an offer to join this administration; a minority of a minority, of a constituency of almost none, who would decline the chance to be a member of this White House; an outlier of such indispensable insight, and inflexible resolve, that the allure of serving as National Security Adviser or Secretary of State would be too insignificant to leave some think tank or boutique law firm; that this tribune of ideological purity, this symbol of Republican reticence, would refuse the invitation to make policy rather than opine against it.
Donald Trump will have no shortage of qualified experts to address matters both foreign and domestic, none of whom will determine the success of this man’s presidency — not in the first one hundred days, not in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet.
Each aspirant will seek to temper Trump, to remake his rhetoric and restyle his proposals: To be present at the creation, as the 45th President of the United States — with a unitary Congress at his disposal, unified by party affiliation if not political acclamation — seeks to disrupt Iran’s nuclear ambitions and reverse the advance of Islamic extremism, while he pursues a succession of quick legislative victories and enacts a series of executive orders.
Donald Trump may speak loudly — he may act boldly — but his populist voice will soon bear the sound of presidential authority.
That voice, as a result of one’s tenure in office and by virtue of the tenor of the Office of President itself, will be more sober than any campaign promise save one, more somber than any tweet, more strong than anything Mr. Trump might otherwise say.
There are plenty of would-be cabinet officers ready to Make America Great Again.