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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
The next chief will walk into a White House engulfed in scandal, in the sights of special counsel Robert Mueller and newly empowered Democrats, at what is shaping up as one of the most grave constitutional moments in US history…
…Nick Ayers, a rising political star in the GOP — who had long been considered Kelly’s likely replacement after serving as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff — announced Sunday he would not take the position after talks with Trump.
That left the President without an obvious frontrunner for the toughest job in politics as the White House is being battered by multiple crises, including a trade war with China, turmoil in the markets and a revolt by Senate Republicans over Saudi Arabia policy. And as it braces for a punishing new era of Democratic oversight, Trump’s team is also gearing up for the imminent escalation in the President’s re-election campaign.
If that was not enough, the new chief of staff will also be faced with the likely hopeless task of trying to tame a President who appears to be deeply rattled by Mueller’s strides in recent days, despite his insistence that everything is sunny in the White House.
How unappetizing is the job of Chief of Staff under Trump? Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is even being mentioned as a real candidate. Chris Cillizza of CNN breaks down the list of potential hires for a President who is definitely beginning to freak out about his political future.
As for Kelly’s legacy,
Based on Trump’s hiring track record, we can expect he’ll hire someone terrible. But the Kelly bar is exceptionally low, so America may be in for a stroke of luck. But we owe it to ourselves to remember how bad Kelly was.
► Colorado Senate Republicans announced new committee assignments late Friday afternoon as they struggle to deal with their newfound minority status. Of particular note: Sen. Randy “Boob Grabber” Baumgardner isn’t on a committee. At all.
► The Denver Post runs a fawning profile of Rep-elect Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish):
He’s now the first African-American to represent Colorado in Congress and an early leader in his freshman class.
And friends say he’s nowhere close to done.
“Joe has this uncanny ability to bring people together and to really help manage personality differences,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “People are attracted to him for it, and in that way he is unstoppable.”
Get even more smarter after the jump…