President Trump’s White House has a historically high turnover rate, “but there are a few survivors,” Peter Nicholas writes at The Atlantic. He took a closer look at three people who have “flourished” in Trump’s White House — policy adviser Stephen Miller, counselor Kellyanne Conway, and Vice President Mike Pence — and how they’ve managed it.
There are some unsurprising key techniques, Nicholas found: “Praising Trump, mastering skills that he values, and forging alliances in a rivalrous West Wing. If none of that works, plant yourself in front of a TV camera and impress the boss.” Miller excels at the praise and mastering Trump’s feel for their shared pet issue, immigration, and Conway nails defending Trump on TV. But “perhaps the most obsequious of all the president’s men and women is his No. 2,” Vice President Mike Pence, Nicholas reports, citing present and past White House staff members. He elaborated:
In public, Vice President Mike Pence has likened Trump to towering historical figures. … Behind closed doors he is no less gushing, taking pains to ensure that Trump has no cause to turn on him, people familiar with the matter said. “I’d like my wife to look at me just for one day the way Mike Pence looks at President Trump every day they’re together. That would be special,” Kenneth Adelman, an official in Reagan’s administration, told me.
Trump appreciates Pence’s loyalty and servility, but he doesn’t reciprocate, Nicholas notes, citing Trump’s version of the one-on-one lunches presidents have traditionally shared with their vice presidents. “Trump ditched that tradition,” inviting in “both his and Pence’s top aides,” he reports. “At the meals in the small dining room off the Oval Office, Trump keeps a big-screen TV tuned to cable news. Aides who have walked in have seen Trump yelling at the TV as he sits with Pence and their deputies over plates of chicken and cheeseburgers.”