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Top White House position now seen as 'career suicide'

Donald Trump's communications director quit after three months. Replacing him may be nearly impossible.
The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty)
The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. 

White House Communications Director Mike Dubke announced yesterday that he's stepping down from his post after just three months on the job. There's been some discussion about whether the longtime Republican media strategist jumped ship or was pushed, but either way, there's now a vacancy in a key office on Donald Trump's presidential team.

The question is whether anyone will want it.

I noted yesterday that Trump World may find it challenging to replace Dubke, and after reading this BuzzFeed piece, it looks like I may have understated matters. BuzzFeed spoke with 20 Republican communicators and operatives, "many of whom have worked on Capitol Hill and in presidential campaigns," and none of whom seemed eager to apply.

"Hell no!" said one Republican — one of the most common type of responses BuzzFeed News got from operatives. "That would be career suicide." [...]"That's like asking someone who just witnessed a horrific bungee jumping accident whether they would like to go next," one Republican source responded in a text message. "It would be only a few months on the job before tapping out the 'I want to spend more time with family' email," another said.One operative whose spouse works in the Trump administration dissolved into laughter upon being asked if they would want the role."Sorry, I'm sorry," the source said between stifled laughter. "Oh, you're being serious? Oh my god, I'm crying of laughter, why would anyone in their right mind want to be his communications director?"

A GOP communications specialist with presidential campaign experience added that this position would be "attractive to someone who is willing to ruin their reputation or who isn't worried about what the future of their career looks like."

The New York Times reported that the White House reached out to four different people about becoming the president's new communications director, but all four "declined to be considered."

Politico added that White House dysfunction and the investigation into Trump's Russia scandal are pushing away prospective employees -- for any prominent position.

I'm not even sure what a White House communications director is supposed to do in an environment like this. While Dubke no doubt tried his best, Team Trump's communications strategies may have been carefully crafted masterpieces, only to be derailed by an impulsive president who enjoys publishing self-destructive tweets.

The mystery isn't why Dubke only lasted three months; it's why he didn't run away sooner.