Once the 2020 race was called for President-elect Joe Biden, political appointees throughout the Trump administration realized it was time to update their resumes and look for new opportunities. They may not have fully realized, however, how challenging that might be.
The Washington Post's James Hohmann reported in early December, "Senior executives at a handful of Fortune 500 companies have told me privately over the last year that they would not risk the potential employee blowback that would come from hiring someone closely linked to" Donald Trump.
A month later, in the wake of Trump inciting a riot and dispatching a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol, these Republicans' employment prospects are apparently quite a bit worse. Politico reports today that many officials, most notably those working in national security, "have been struggling to find new employment."
They have been snubbed by potential employers, told they would be a "liability" and in one instance were even compared to the "Hitler Youth." This is the job market many experienced national security officials who work for President Donald Trump are facing just days before a new president takes office and they will be out of work.
Olivia Troye, a former Homeland Security and White House official who left in August and endorsed Biden, told Politico, "People who are hiring see everything that's happened and have to question your morals and ethics — especially in terms of what continues to happen today — on why you chose to work for that environment."
It's against this backdrop that some administration officials, ostensibly responding to the Trump-inspired violence, have resigned. Among those departing are two cabinet secretaries -- Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos -- who've served on the Republican's cabinet since the start of his term.
But it's hard not to wonder whether the two threads should be tied: are these officials resigning because they can't bear to be associated with depravity and corruption, or are they stepping down now -- less than two weeks before the start of the new Democratic administration -- because they hope it will leave them with a less severe stain when they pursue their next gig?
Indeed, it's easy to imagine a hierarchy of sorts informally adopted by key employers: those with no association with Donald Trump will be the most appealing, followed by those who resigned early, those who resigned late, and those who stood by the Republican's side through it all.