It’s no secret that the Trump administration, in office for almost 16 months now, has a devilish time filling top positions. An unprecedented number of plum jobs in our nation’s capital, including senior ones of the kind that Beltway wannabes fight hard for, don’t have people in them. Here, White House laziness and its selection of troubled candidates who have difficulty getting confirmed have both played a role. It seems likely that some of these jobs may never get filled as long as Donald Trump is our president.
Even many ambassadorships remain unoccupied. Seemingly, it’s the Washington custom to dole these out to friends and major donors rather quickly but even here Team Trump has been lackadaisical about appointments. Take the case of Germany, a key ally and the European Union’s most important country. Only this week did our new ambassador report for duty in Berlin, following an extended confirmation saga that lasted nearly a year.
The Senate was in no hurry to give the nominee, Ric Grenell, its endorsement, leading to right-wing charges that this had something to do with the fact that Grenell is openly gay. There’s no evidence for that accusation, and it’s not exactly clear why it took the Senate so long to approve Grenell, though it may have something to do with his lack of diplomatic qualifications.
Trump appointed him because he was an early endorser of his candidacy, and Grenell, a Fox News regular, has been a vehement public defender of the increasingly beleaguered White House. His sole relevant experience was serving as spokesman for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2001 to 2008. In that role, Grenell, a right-wing ideologue, was noted for his tenaciousness with the media, leading some of them to memorably describe him as “unbearable,” “rude,” “arrogant,” and a “bully.”
Read the rest at The Observer …