Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Trump Dumping Think Tanks

Even though a massive amount of think tankers from the Heritage Foundation and other conservative think tanks are on the Trump transition team, it doesn't mean that Donald Trump is actually listening to any of them.

Here is more from Politico:
While Donald Trump dines on frog legs with Mitt Romney and meets with a parade of lawmakers and governors in his gold-plated Midtown skyscraper, most of his transition staff are hunkered down in Washington, D.C., writing detailed governing plans for his first 100 days.
But so far, Trump and his inner circle have largely ignored those plans as they focus on top appointments and lean on the advice of politicians, CEOs and donors, rather than on their transition staff, say sources close to the transition.
The president-elect, meanwhile, has been more likely to set policy on Twitter than through consultation with his D.C. advisers.
The New York-D.C. transition divide reflects Trump’s tendency to focus on personnel and, especially, personality, over policy. Experts say that bent, combined with his improvisational style and the divisions between the teams will complicate his transition to the White House, making it less likely he’ll have a cohesive roadmap for governing on Day One. 
...former transition officials say Trump’s operation is unusual in the way it’s leaving so much of the policy and second-tier personnel appointments to D.C. transition team members, many of whom are volunteers with little power and no connection to Trump’s key advisers.
Trump has few real ties to Washington’s network of Republican policy wonks and is much more likely to take advice from son-in-law Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, Trump’s incoming chief strategist, than from veterans of Republican presidencies.

The article goes on to list Mr. Trump's "inner core," which consists of Jared Kusher, Steve Bannon, Mike Pence, Reince Priebus, and Kellyanne Conway.  Think Tank Watch should note that of those five, only Mike Pence has any real connection to the think tank world.

To be sure, hundreds of think tankers will go into the Trump Administration over the next few months and years, and they will certainly influence policy, but by how much has yet to be determined.