Saving Face

It happened again last Friday: former New York City mayor and current dementia-announcement-in-waiting Rudy Giuliani announced that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for any cabinet positions in the Trump administration.

The day before that, Lou Barletta, the xenophobe who represents all or parts of nine Pennsylvania counties in Congress, announced that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for the job of Secretary of Labor.

No one wants this guy around every day.

No one wants this guy around every day.

A few weeks before that it was Newt Gingrich declaring that he no longer was interested in serving in a cabinet position and would prefer to remain just an occasional but valued (in a non-staff, don’t-show-him-where-the-copy-paper-is kind of way) advisor.

And of course we remember Chris Christie slinking back to that now-unblocked bridge entrance ramp in New Jersey, his destination all along, he now insists, after Donnie Junior and Ivanka and Rasputin – sorry, make that future first son in-law Jared Kushner – took all the transition work Christie did and flushed it, along with Christie’s entire transition staff, down one of Trump Tower’s gold-leafed toilets.

There are no doubt others The Curmudgeon has forgotten, or was never even aware of: people who believe they helped Donald Trump get elected to the presidency and that their reward would be a cabinet position. Giuliani, Gingrich, and Christie were earlier adopters, and Barletta even earlier, one of the first members of Congress to endorse the Orange One, because birds of a lunatic feather really do flock together.

But there’s a difference between having something to offer on the campaign trail and having something to offer to help govern a country and Giuliani, Barletta, and Gingrich clearly have nothing to offer in the latter, and while Christie probably does, his reputation is in the toilet – geez, that’s two toilet references in the same post, a new high (low?) for The Curmudgeon – and besides, Trump is known not to like his people chubby.

So these folks, well-used but finally getting the message that their services are no longer desired, must find a way to save face publicly by attempting to “withdraw” from consideration for positions for which they were never, ever seriously considered. They were played, used – not, by the way, a criticism of Trump at all, because they all do this – and then discarded when their usefulness came to an end.

But oh, those sad “I withdraw my name from consideration for…” speeches really are sad and maybe even a little pathetic, when people of ambition who had the audacity to parade that ambition so publicly and so nakedly decide that they must just as publicly insist that their unchanged professional status is of their own choosing when everyone – everyone – knows it most certainly is not.



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