With Donald Trump as the new sheriff in town, think tank influence and power has shifted dramatically to a select few conservative think tanks that all happen to start with the letter "H." We are referring to the Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institution, and, to a lesser extent, the Hudson Institute.
The Heritage Foundation is by far the biggest think tank winner with the incoming Trump Administration, and has dozens of current and former scholars and experts helping the Trump team with its transition process. A massive amount of Heritage scholars likely will go into the Trump Administration.
The Hoover Institution is also a big winner, with Gen. Jim Mattis just being named as Trump's Secretary of Defense. Mattis was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover.
Moreover, it was just announced that Kevin Warsh, another Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover, will be the only think tanker on Mr. Trump's new "President's Strategic and Advisory Forum."
Elaine Chao, Trump's pick for Secretary of Transportation, was a Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation until June 2016, when she became a Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Of course, other think tanks, such as Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and even the Cato Institute could score some big wins, but for now, the "H" think tanks dominate.
Think Tank Watch should also note that these newly empowered think tanks are not omnipotent. After all, it seems that Donald Trump is listening to a just a handful key advisors much more than the think tankers in Washington, DC.