Can Kelly bring order to the White House?
Former general John Kelly has been appointed the new White House chief of staff. With a reputation as a man who appreciates clear structures and doesn't mince his words, even with the powerful, Kelly has the potential to bring stability to the White House, Washington watchers note. While some commentators believe he could get things in Washington off to a new start, others have their doubts.
Not the time for schadenfreude
General John Kelly could be the right man to get the White House back on track, De Standaard hopes:
“A return to some form of normality would be a success in itself. The top priority is to prevent the president's path of self-destruction from prompting leaders in Russia, China or Iran to do something dangerous. The world is in turmoil. It needs stability and predictability on the part of the major players. ... Perhaps Kelly's nomination will usher in a new era. Trump's supporters, however, may see it as confirmation that the deep state - the dark forces that survive every election - always win in the end. ... It's very tempting to observe Trump's shameful decline with schadenfreude. But now is not the time for that.”
Things could get tough under new chief of staff
If the new chief of staff manages to bring order to the White House it won't necessarily be good news, Spiegel Online fears:
“Up to now Donald Trump hasn't been able to keep any of his dreadful election promises, each of his projects has failed - also because all the attempts to realize them were clumsy. The Trump administration is revoltingly vulgar, xenophobic, nationalistic and reactionary - but because it has barely been able to get what it wants it has remained relatively harmless. The world, shocked by Trump's election victory last November, is relieved. Fear was followed by the realisation: he can't get anything done. This could change soon. And that wouldn't be funny at all.”
Kelly's biggest problem is Trump
Trump's tendency to change his mind could also be Kelly's undoing, Il Sole 24 Ore comments:
“The White House has made it clear that even under Kelly's commando Trump will have the final say, as regards both the new division of tasks and communications. … At the same time the recent past of the Kelly-Trump relationship should make us wary because it points to potential conflict - despite Trump's declared admiration for the general known as the 'star of the government'. A leak revealed that Kelly was very unhappy when Comey was fired. He was so annoyed that he considered taking drastic steps. He rang up Comey to announce his solidarity and also told him in confidence that he was contemplating resigning.”
Washington chaos is being exploited
Trump's unremitting volatility is doing enormous harm to the international system, Daily Sabah is convinced:
“The problem is that since Trump became president no country has been able to adopt a solid position on anything; everyone waits to figure out what the Trump administration will do. Some countries, though, have begun acting on their own on the assumption that that this uncertainty and the absence of the U.S. will allow them to realize their national strategies. This, however, only makes the international system more unstable because everyone is focussed on maximizing their own interests in their own way and in the short term.”