Taking Bets: Who is the 'insider' who wrote the NYT Opinion Piece?

So the New York Times ran an opinion piece today. It was presented anonymously because the author is a ‘senior administration official’ who could lose his or her job.

We can debate the ethics of whether it should be run in another thread. Right here and now I want to kick around who wrote it? Generally, in Washington speak, a ‘senior administration official’ is someone at the presidential advisor or cabinet level. Not always, but generally.

So let’s play the game.

I’m thinking maybe Mnuchin. Dude’s rich as fuck - possibly richer than Trump - and is likely frustrated as hell with Trump’s economic policy choices. What’s Trump going to do? Fire him into his life of incredible luxury?

Elaine Chao, one of the few cabinet members with any experience in the executive branch as she served as W’s Secretary of Labor for 8 years. So, she’s seen what a normal administration looks like .

Well the talk on Twitter is that it’s Mike Pence since he’s used the term “lodestar” a number of times since 2011 and it was used in the op-ed referring to McCain. It’s too odd a word to be chance ( unless it’s a deliberate red-herring from another writer). It makes sense it would be Pence - he wants Trumps job, likes conservative policies, and generally sees himself as a white knight. And he can’t be fired.

Regarding the “lodestar” thing: Henry Kissinger used it, quite recently, while speaking about McCain. I’d venture it’s much more likely to be someone recalling that speech, consciously or unconsciously, rather than Pence or someone deliberately trying to imitate Pence’s style.

I’m going with Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.

I’m guessing Bill McGinley, the cabinet secretary.

Nah. Mnuchin’s a self-absorbed, self-important crook. Trump is the best thing that’s ever happened to him; that and his ability to slither away cleanly from his past criminal banking exploits.

Why not Pence? He is practically a perfect fit. His fawning isnt real, though I hope that’s obvious. What else precludes Pence?

I second DNI Coats.

Well, the educated guess of Lawrence O’Donnell is also Dan Coats, and that’s probably right.

O’Donnell’s choices came down to Coats or Pompeo. I speculated Pompeo in another thread, but I think O’Donnell is correct. So I’ll vote for Coats, too.

Too much potential for exposure. Nope, Pence will happily and quietly remain Trump’s bootlicker until the last day of his term.

And, Pence, I think, really wants to wind up as President when Trump leaves the office, one way or the other. I suspect that whoever this is recognizes that his political career is likely over, or will be very shortly.

And I suspect he is likely okay with that.

For some reason I think it’s Nikki Haley.

The issue is that I can’t see any of the people I view as a “grown up” being stupid enough to admit to the things mentioned in this Op Ed.

KellyAnne Conway

She doesn’t work in the White House though; her job is in NYC.


Is at jeopardy of losing their position if their identity got out - ergo, not McGahn or Pence or someone like that

Discusses the early days of the cabinet - ergo, one of the early hires

Mentions McCain as an inspiration for the article - likely military and a traditional Republican. Coats, Mattis, Pompeo, and Kelly are all reasonably likely.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Reasons: Too many insults from Trump: so he has a reason to write it, likely already on the way out: so not worried about being outed. Becoming more friendly lately with Pence: so that “lodestar” word could come from his interactions with the vice president.

And Sessions attended the funeral of John McCain. I did notice many articles pointing out at how the funeral looked like if it was one of the biggest meetings of the resistance against Trump ever assembled.

Rachel Maddow implied that it could be Pence, and while he can’t be “fired”, he could certainly have his life made miserable if it turns out he’s this version of Deep Throat.

(One wonders if Pence knows where that phrase originated, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

Maddow also referenced an out-of-print 1960s novel called “Night of Camp David”, about a president who goes insane, and you can’t get a copy on Amazon right now. The ones I saw earlier were priced at $75 for mass market paperbacks.


ETA: Even the Reader’s Digest Condensed Book version is unavailable! Those people will get to read a condensed version of one of my all-time favorite books, “Intern” by Doctor X, later revealed to be children’s science author and physician Dr. Alan Nourse.

Sessions is a former Army Reserve officer who served on the Armed Services committee with McCain