About three months ago, Donald Trump acknowledged the staffing exodus in his White House, but he rejected the idea that it was a problem.
"You know, I read where, 'Oh, gee, maybe people don't want to work for Trump.' And believe me, everybody wants to work in the White House," the president insisted. "They all want a piece of that Oval Office; they want a piece of the West Wing. And not only in terms of it looks great on their resume; it's just a great place to work."
The White House -- which has been having trouble filling positions as it bleeds staffers -- is now trying to find recruits at a conservative job fair on the Hill."Interested in a job at the White House?" is the subject line of an email that was blasted out widely to Republicans on the Hill late Wednesday advertising the upcoming event.
The job fair, scheduled for this afternoon on Capitol Hill, is being hosted by the Conservative Partnership Institute, which is a fairly new group created by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who also used to lead the Heritage Foundation.
The Politico piece added, "Recruiting at a job fair is seen as an unusual step for a White House to take.... A former Obama administration official said it would have been unheard of in the previous administration.... The Trump White House, however, has had difficulty bringing new people in."
For many observers, especially the president's detractors, it's probably tempting to laugh at all of this. It is, after all, pitiful.
But Mother Jones' Kevin Drum raised a very good point yesterday: "No matter who's in the White House, we all have an interest in having it fully and properly staffed with competent people. The fact that Trump can't do this just adds another dimension of foreboding to an already troubled administration."
Agreed. I've followed the White House's staffing crisis with great interest since Trump took office, but it's worth emphasizing from time to time that this isn't just an embarrassment for a hapless amateur who assured voters he'd surround himself with "the best people." It's also emblematic of a White House that routinely struggles to govern.
Whether one is inclined to agree with Trump or not, no one benefits when desperate officials in the West Wing are reduced to recruiting conservatives at a Capitol Hill job fair.