Depending on who you listen to, Trump’s selection of a Cabinet is either a clusterfuck, a disaster, or it is going relatively smoothly. I’m guessing the latter is correct. But one thing is clear – Donald Trump is going to surprise a lot of people. The President is literally the chief executive officer of the United States government. And while Trump has never held political office before, he knows how to be a CEO.
In a parliamentary system you often end up with coalition government made up of multiple parties. In order to get parties to join yours, you have to promise them things. Those things may be policies, programs, or the control of certain departments. A hawkish party might want control of the defense and state departments but be willing to let a different party control domestic social welfare agencies. If these various parties can put together a workable majority they can govern.
Under our two-party system, the parties themselves are coalitions. The GOP primary was a fight for control of the party that pitted the GOP establishment against the GOP base. The base won. If Trump is going to govern effectively and successfully, he needs to bring the GOP together. That means bringing the GOPe into his government. That means working with the GOP Congress.
Trump knows how to make deals. He even wrote a book about it. Trump knows that if you want people to join and keep an agreement you have to make it worth their while. Contrary to the popular leftist narrative Trump is not a dictator. That might work with your underlings but it won’t work with partners and business associates. And you have to keep your word.
Trump is in negotiation with various factions within the GOP. That includes the GOPe, the religious right, neocons, the Chamber of Commerce, and the gun lobby. In order to get their support he needs to throw them all some bones. The people who helped Trump win deserve the biggest, juiciest, meatiest bones, but everybody will get something.
Trump has priorities. That means he will focus on a few key issues. In order to get what he wants on those issues he will have to compromise on other issues. That’s how politics works.
So if Mitt Romney ends up as Secretary of State, don’t be shocked. All that means is that was the price Trump agreed to pay for GOPe support on other stuff.