In 2008 an unknown wide receivers staff coach named Dabo Swinney became the interim head football coach, mid-season, of the Clemson Tigers college football team. He was 39 years old. At the end of the season and after beating Clemson’s instate rival, the University of South Carolina, he was named Clemson’s 27th head coach and proceeded to lose to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl.
Among die-hard Clemson fans Dabo was not a popular hire. He wasn’t old enough, smart enough, or mean enough. He may have been a great a recruiter but his ah shucks, rah-rah cheerleading style rubbed hard-core Tiger fans who worshiped the tobacco chewing, mean as a rattle snake former head coaching icons of Danny Ford and Frank Howard the wrong way.
But in just eight short years Dabo did the unthinkable, he won a national championship, something Clemson last did under Ford in 1981. As you can well imagine everyone, except South Carolina fans, now love Dabo. Crusty old Clemson fans melt in the palm of his hands. Anything he wants, anything he needs to keep Clemson football at the top of polls he gets.
How did he do it? How did Clemson go from the middle of the pack to the top in eight short years? Dabo will tell you the formula is real simple, he assembled a great team of people, helped them establish their goals and let them do their job under his watchful eye. Dabo understands his role as the head cheerleader, supporting and encouraging the smart people he has hired and stepping in, when he needs too, to make the hard decisions necessary to advance and succeed. As Lee Iacocca once stated “I hire people brighter than me and I get out of their way.” That is how a leader leads, not by bragging or boasting about being the smartest and not by blaming others for your puck-ups either.
There are 558 key positions requiring Senate confirmation in Donald Trump’s administration. As of today, 411 of those positions have no nominee, 11 are awaiting nomination, 94 have been formally nominated and 42 have been confirmed by the, do I need to remind you, Republican majority Senate.
Keep in mind the 558 are key executive branch positions which include Cabinet secretaries, deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsel, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other critical leadership positions. The 558 are just a portion of the roughly 1,200 total positions that require Senate confirmation.
The Senate can only act on nominations that have been formally submitted by the Trump administration. “Awaiting nomination” means the person has been announced but not yet submitted. Those classified as “formally nominated” are awaiting action by the Senate.
Unlike Dabo Swinney, “our” President hasn’t or can’t assemble a great team and at this point I believe the “hasn’t” and the “can’t” are interrelated. Remember, per our President he is “……like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.” Certainly I feel better knowing that we have “like, a smart person” running the country but you know what would make me feel even better, 558 more smart people running the country instead of just the handful that we currently have.
Trump has blamed the obstructionist Democrats in tweets for his inability to fill key executive branch positions. Obviously sane, rational citizens know that is a wheelbarrow full of bullshit given he is working with a rubber stamp approval with a majority Republican Senate. The bottom line, he can’t find people. He can’t find people willing to accept the risk of working with an administration that fly’s by the seat of its pants. An administrations whose head coach could, would and can undermine all of your work and efforts with his thumbs in one 140 character tweet.
This country is running on autopilot and like any business or household that is not a sustainable future nor direction. The old adage of “I don’t know where I am going but I am making great time” applies here. We don’t know where we are going, honestly if the truth be told, we don’t really know who is driving the ship at this point. I have written from the very beginning Trump had one plan in place and one plan only, get elected President and in 150 days on the job that is really the only thing he has accomplished.
“I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters.” – Donald Trump