Donald Trump is the first President in history to have a Cabinet meeting go viral. If you haven’t seen it yet, you must watch the video of Trump going around the table on Monday morning and eliciting gushing testimonials and expressions of loyalty from his own appointees.
Mike Pence set the tone, saying, “The greatest privilege of my life is to serve as Vice-President to a President who is keeping his word to the American people, assembling a team that is bringing real change, real prosperity, real strength back to our nation.” Elaine Chao, the Transportation Secretary, thanked Trump for “getting the country moving again.” Sonny Perdue, the Agriculture Secretary, assured the President, “I just back got from Mississippi: they love you there.” Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, described working for Trump as “great honor.” And Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, thanked the President for “the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve your agenda and the American people.”
So it went—part North Korean Politburo rah-rah session and part opening scene from “The Godfather.” A willingness to genuflect before a thin-skinned egomaniac is the price of serving in—or working closely with—this Administration. But why are so many powerful people willing to pay this price?
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