As Donald Trump narrows his list of options for his next Supreme Court nominee, the president is weighing a variety of considerations, which according to Politico, includes "a potential nominee's appearance as well as the look and feel of his or her family."
"Beyond the qualifications, what really matters is, does this nominee fit a central casting image for a Supreme Court nominee, as well as his or her spouse," the Republican close to the White House said. "That's a big deal. Do they fit the role?"
Trump's preoccupation with "central casting" has been a staple of his presidency, though his fixation hasn't always worked in his favor. In March, for example, he chose Ronny Jackson, the then-White House physician, to oversee the Department of Veterans Affairs, in part because of the Navy admiral's guise.
"He's like central casting – like a Hollywood star," Trump told donors at a fundraiser.
A month later, the president's nominee withdrew under a cloud of controversy, in the wake of revelations the White House would've been prepared for if Team Trump put as much emphasis on qualifications as appearances.
But the president can't seem to help himself. When describing Vice President Mike Pence, Trump likes to say he’s “central casting.” On his Inauguration Day, the president also turned to Defense Secretary James Mattis and said, “This is central casting.” When Trump considered Mitt Romney for his cabinet, Trump’s transition officials said the president believed Romney “looks the part of a top diplomat right out of ‘central casting.’” Rex Tillerson was described as having a “central casting” quality.
The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty told MSNBC after the election that “central casting” is “actually a phrase [Trump] uses quite a bit behind the scenes.”
As we discussed last year, I’ve heard other politicians and other presidents use the phrase, but not to this extent. Trump cares about “central casting” as if he were the executive producer of an elaborate show.