Six. A half dozen. According to the old movie with Brian Keith and Doris Day, it is the family size needed to get free egg rolls at a favorite restaurant. Six is also the number of Directors of Communication this White House has had in going on 26 months. That is an average tenure of 4 1/2 months.
Here is scorecard of the short-term six directors:
Sean Spicer (45 days)
Mike Dubke (88 days)
Sean Spicer (49 days)
Anthony Scaramucci (10 days)
Hope Hicks (225 days)
Bill Shine (240 days)
Setting aside “The Mooch,” who may have been the most unlikely choice of a Director of Communications, lasting only ten days filled with colorful language, the four people occupying the position five times at least had communicaion experience. They were just asked to do an impossible job. Managing communications for a twittering, babbling man with a large ego and small filter between his brain, fingers and mouth is nigh impossible.
Apparently, Trump referred to his latest departure as Bill “No” Shine due to his inability to make him look good. Putting lipstick on a pig does not change the fact the animal still rolls around in a pig sty. Ron Christie, who served in the second Bush white house, said a director ideally works with the President to set long term communications strategy, short term tactics and daily talking points. This President consistently surprises his staff with off-script and abrupt announcements. The best metaphor is Sean Spicer and team strategizing in the white house bushes after Trump fired James Comey without telling anyone, even Comey.
It is nigh impossible to manage communications for a bombastic man who has a hard time with the truth and common decency. There are three givens going forward. Trump desperately needs someone to keep him between the white lines. Trump will be very challenged the remainder of his term as his lies and criminal actions catch up to him. And, the next director won’t last long.