Tags: mike flynn | trump | replacement

Flynn Let Go Over Skill Set — Scandal Just a Convenience

Flynn Let Go Over Skill Set — Scandal Just a Convenience

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017 04:43 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There are numerous stories, theories and "I know for sure" "facts" surrounding Flynn’s resignation letter. The only — repeat — only fact currently in evidence is that the White House prompted the letter and that President Trump accepted it.

All of official Washington is chasing what I like to call the "shiny." The "shiny" is a pretty object glistening in such a way as to completely distract from the real story.

Whether the deep state is working with #NeverTrumpers and Neo-Cons or working with Obama holdovers or working alone in their own interest and ratted out Flynn’s mistakes to a hostile press is not nearly as important as why President Trump changed National Security Advisors at the very outset of his Administration.

The question seems obviously answered for any "astute" politico in this city. Flynn became a political liability and had to go. Or did he? Is it possible that Trump simply wanted to make a change and used the "crisis" as a vehicle for that change?

I think that the latter is true.

I have never seen (nor applauded) a candidate/president/man less interested in the political fall-out of a decision. Trump did not professionally mature in a political decision-making environment — an environment which dictates that all things which are popular will be the touchstone for all actions. President Trump possesses a businessman’s approach to problem-solving and the popular is rarely if ever the be-all-and-end-all as it is for professional politicians.

Take just a few examples: 1) President Trump has never significantly moderated a position in a Washingtonian fashion regardless of how unpopular the press made it seem; 2) he calmly stood by Lewandowski after everyone wanted him gone and made the complete non-politician Jared Kushner the close "political" confidant that he is; and, 3) instead of relieved, President Trump is actually furious that the much protested travel ban is in a kind of judicial hiatus. These are all gutsy positions and very non-Washingtonian — non-politic.

Further, the only Washingtonian in Trump's inner circle is Priebus and a few of his guys — and he is only a Washingtonian by proxy. Also, the Transition Team has made #NeverTrump on a resume an instant disqualification for hiring.

Any other elected "outsider" would have immediately embraced the insiders to "make peace" and provide "continuity" and to enhance "party solidarity." Trump has rightly resisted these all-but-meaningless political terms as Reagan, for example, should have. With this, Trump has consequentially remained above routine, politically-motivated, Washingtonian-based decision making.

He has stood by every team member from the start and any interview ever done with anyone close to him talks about Trump’s reliance on personal loyalties being among his most often observable traits.

So, why does a guy with this consistent and unusual make-up seemingly bow to the press pressure and dump Flynn for "obvious" political reasons? Answer: He doesn’t.

Let’s look at a few other traits evidenced in President Trump — which traits are almost always absent from a life-long politician.

Donald Trump hires and fires on a need basis. He will "change his pants" every week if need be, regardless of how it looks. The health of the organization is paramount and leadership must fit the task and that leadership is subject to change as the needs evolve. Politicians work from a devout belief that a bullet-proof, non-scandalous resume will afford a subordinate capable of excelling in all conditions and in all circumstances. There is no such person.

Donald Trump is able to change even the highest ranking personnel at the drop of a hat with minimal disruption to the functioning of the organization as a whole. To the average politician, change represents scandal and is avoided at all costs. The mediocre and near-incompetent are kept as long as they are non-scandalous — sadly, often because they are safe from anything scandalous. Thus, we get a mediocre and near-incompetent government.

Donald Trump nurtures a low-level of friction and sometimes even mild chaos just below the surface among subordinates. This is a time-tried and successful way to achieve novel action, to encourage personal initiative and to foster intuitive ideas to come forth. Political types bend over backwards to present a picture of serene functioning for the press and always avoid the messy fall-out from any friction.

Donald Trump successfully delegates authority while maintaining responsibility. Your average ego-driven politician does just the opposite.

So, again, why does President Trump accept Flynn’s resignation? Answer: Flynn had a different skill set for the job than what is needed now and, realizing that, President Trump needed to make a change.

However the circumstances contrived to make the possibility of replacing Flynn came about (the "shiny"), Flynn will be replaced with a candidate possessing a skill set that better fits the exigent needs of the Administration — not just a "Flynn" clone.

Flynn’s capabilities are those of an analyst — someone who collects information for a follow-on decision-maker to synthesize that information into a decision-tree for action. President Trump needs the actual synthesis (as all presidents do to one extent or another) from a National Security Advisor who will be able to present choices rather than just information.

Flynn is a career analyst — not a kinetic leader. Contrary to its name, the National Security Advisor is far more a command type of a job than one for an information-rich human encyclopedia — an analyst.

Look for Flynn’s replacement to be from the military, a command-rich former high-ranked officer and one with a built-in working relationship with General "Mad-Dog" Mattis at DoD.

Faced with the evolving tasks in the Middle East particularly, President Trump made a thoughtful decision to get a guy with a different skill-set for the job. He learned, decided, acted as we all hope a president will do and so rarely actually does. The "shiny" provided a little drama but the decision was not motivated by the political exigencies but by the needs of this Administration.

Michael Patrick Flanagan represented the 5th District of Illinois in the historic 104th Congress. Prior to his Congressional Service, Michael was commissioned in the United States Army Field Artillery. Michael and his firm, Flanagan Consulting LLC, have represented both large and small corporations, organizations, and associations. In 2009, Michael entered public service again with the United States Department of State in Iraq as the Senior Rule of Law Advisor on the Maysan Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Maysan, Iraq. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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MichaelFlanagan
Flynn had a different skill set for the job than what is needed now and, realizing that, President Trump needed to make a change.
mike flynn, trump, replacement
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2017-43-15
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 04:43 PM
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