Chris Liddell, let me help you handle Trump

by Bill Ralston / 24 March, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Chris Liddell

Kiwi Chris Liddell takes on a policy co-ordination role in the Trump Administration. Photo/Getty Images

If Chris Liddell requires a hand in the Trump White House, he need look no further.

Deeply impressed by the appointment of Kiwi Chris Liddell to the position of deputy chief of staff for policy co-ordination in the Trump Administration, I would like to offer my assistance. Well, I need a real job and Liddell needs real help.

From Carter Holt Harvey and leaky buildings to the White House and a very leaky ship, Liddell has showed his mettle on the way up through Microsoft, General Motors and then other tasks for Trump in the transition. And now he’s finally in the inner sanctum, confronting the problem of trying to co-ordinate policy in a government that rules by random tweets. This cannot be an easy task.

My qualifications to become assistant to the deputy chief of staff are considerable. I’ve watched every episode of The West Wing and I consider Martin Sheen the best president the US has ever had. Although I must admit Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep is probably more like who we have now in the job.

To prepare for any emergency that may strike the White House, I’m steadfastly following the weekly drip feed on Netflix of Designated Survivor; however, I suspect Kiefer Sutherland’s President Kirkman is probably a Democrat and therefore not much use when trying to figure out the Republican chicanes in Washington’s corridors of power.

Liddell will now have to confront the biggest problem facing the Administration: President Trump. The principal difficulty is that since he took office, Trump has carried on as if he’s still on a script for his “reality” TV show, The Apprentice, and fired someone every week. Sometimes it’s two a week.

The problem with trying to co-ordinate policies in the White House is that Trump seems to have reversed all those of preceding Administrations. One of his first acts on becoming President was to embrace Vladimir Putin and Russia while attacking his traditional allies of Mexico, Canada and Australia. Luckily, he did not appear to know New Zealand existed, although subsequently at an international gathering, Jacinda Ardern foolishly reminded him.

Still, eventually Trump would have figured out we’re lurking here at the bottom of the South Pacific, once Barack Obama started hitting golf balls about with Sir John Key when they had their reunion. The President apparently watches lots of television, alternating between Fox and golf programmes, so he was sure to have seen his predecessor here in Godzone doing what he would have been wishing he was doing.

It’s readily apparent that the President does not really enjoy being president. It was recently announced he was reducing still further the amount of time he spends on official public duties to have more “private” time. This, presumably, will allow him more time to watch golf and become incensed by news programmes. I don’t believe he reads newspapers or magazines, although he does listen to talkback radio.

He leaves most of the running of the White House to people like his adorable poppet of a press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who got the job after a string of others failed because she grew up breaking rocks with her head. Okay, I made that one up.

However, in the Trump White House, it’s people like Liddell who pull the levers, and I’d like to give them a hand. For example, I’d be more than happy to handle Stormy Daniels. As it is, whether I get the job or not, I can’t wait for the next episode in the series Trumpapocalypse.

This article was first published in the March 31, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

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