It’s high time we had an Anthony Scaramucci story to report. Really, it’s been too long.
Every president makes bad hires, I think we’ll all agree, and even the staunchest supporter of President Donald Trump supporter will agree Scaramucci was among the worst. The colorful White House figure — who had vociferously criticized Trump until it became clear he would get the nomination, after which he began vociferously sucking up to him — served as White House director of communications for a solid 11 days in July of 2017.
I wish I could list the highlights/lowlights of his tenure, but my asterisk key is broken so I can’t really properly censor the quotes from the bizarre phone exchange he had with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza. During that 11 days, his wife told him goodbye and then new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told him goodbye. Since then, he’s gotten back in the good graces of his wife and has been trying to get back into the good graces of the media by vociferously apologizing for ever having anything to do with Trump. If there’s one thing that Anthony Scaramucci does well, we can therefore deduce, it’s being vociferous.
The problem is when you’re being vociferously stupid.
Scaramucci can be, which is why he didn’t even have time to use up the first batch K-cups on the Keurig machine in his office at the White House before he was looking for other employment. Two years have not appreciably changed things. Over the weekend, Scaramucci did a phone interview with Axios (because phone interviews always work out so well for him, no?) which proves that while his views on the president may have done a 180, the Mooch is still as Mooch-tastic as he was when he got fired.
First, the quote which everyone’s going to be parroting: “We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci told Axios.
Wait, what does that even mean?
I’ve only seen about half of “Chernobyl” so far (don’t spoil the ending for me), but where are the apparatchiks in the Trump administration who are trying to figure out what to clean up or cover up? Is this about the president’s various Twitter controversies? Liberal opportunists trying to blame the president for El Paso? Or is this just a random quote that’s an excuse to unload a pop culture reference and call the president a nuclear disaster?
It could arguably be the first, given that the last we saw Scaramucci (those of us who saw him do it, anyway), he was telling us all how the president’s tweets about “the squad” had served to “divide the country.”
However, given the context of the interview here, I’m going to go with option number three, since Axios doesn’t actually give much context for the remark. They say Scaramucci told them “Republicans may need to pick a different candidate in 2020” and that the Mooch “may support a Republican challenger to Trump.” Oh, well, that’s going to shake up the field.
“A couple more weeks like this and ‘country over party’ is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020,” Scaramucci said.
He added that if Trump “doesn’t reform his behavior, it will not just be me, but many others will be considering helping to find a replacement in 2020.”
“Right now, it’s an unspeakable thing. But if he keeps it up, it will no longer be unspeakable. The minute they start speaking of it, it will circulate and be socialized. We can’t afford a full nuclear contamination site post 2020.”
The assumption here, of course, is that Republicans find President Trump radioactive. Except they don’t: Most polls show him with a pretty strong showing among GOPers, even when his disapproval numbers are high among other voters. That’s going to make a challenger a difficult thing to line up.
Who are they going to get at this late hour, anyway? Larry Hogan? Ben Sasse? Justin Amash?
While all of these guys are talented enough politicians in their current roles (perhaps save for Amash, who seems to be waging jihad against the GOP for face time and not because it helps him represent his constituents or anything like that), when it comes to being a presidential candidate facing off against a sitting president, we’re not quite dealing with a murderer’s row of talent.
For a guy who was a literal disaster when it came to job performance in the White House, the Mooch is dangerously bad at diagnosing figurative nuclear disasters when it comes to the president and his standing within the party.
As for Scaramucci’s influence in the matter, the idea that he’s a major Republican player whose turn of the thumb could realistically affect the 2020 nomination is risible.
The last in-depth interview I actually watched him give was on “Dr. Phil.” What, is he going to make his endorsement on “The Talk?” Extending his own metaphor, Scaramucci is pretty much radioactive when it comes to the Right People; he makes good copy when CNN needs to fill up five minutes of airtime or Axios needs an interesting story on a Sunday, but certainly no one would consider him a decision-maker in 2020.
The president, you may not be surprised to know, had a rejoinder for his former communications director.
“Anthony Scaramucci, who was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling, now seems to do nothing but television as the all time expert on ‘President Trump,'” the president tweeted Sunday.
“Like many other so-called television experts, he knows very little about me other than the fact that this Administration has probably done more than any other Administration in its first 2 1/2 years of existence. Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!”
Anthony Scaramucci, who was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling, now seems to do nothing but television as the all time expert on “President Trump.” Like many other so-called television experts, he knows very little about me…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2019
…..other than the fact that this Administration has probably done more than any other Administration in its first 2 1/2 years of existence. Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2019
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was a bit more succinct when it came to Scaramucci’s remarks: “It sounds like his feelings are hurt.”
Indeed they are. At least we didn’t have to use asterisks for this rant, though. I guess he’s making progress there?
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