People who have worked in previous administrations have usually been able to find lucrative employment afterward. Not so much now.
Megan Wilson at The Hill:
“There have only been a few high-profile people that have gotten out while the getting’s good. A great deal more very well may have committed professional suicide, at least in the short term, by serving in this administration,” said one person, who has been involved in high-profile hiring and asked for anonymity in order to speak freely. “I don’t think it’s potentially a long-term thing. The net of it is, this administration, in general, was not able to attract the A-team. No one’s asking [for] anyone from the Trump administration.”
“What might work for the political benefit of a president with an anti-Washington message doesn’t match what the objectives of what a traditional corporate function is, which is to manage legislative and regulatory risk,” said David Tamasi, the managing director of Chartwell Strategy Group and former finance chairman for the Trump Victory Fund.
The turmoil in the White House and the administration has also led to an unusually high volume of departures in Trump’s first year, adding to the competition for open positions.
“Everyone is saying it’s a shitshow, that’s why they’re looking to leave early,” said a person who has conducted executive searches and also asked for anonymity. “Normally you would want to serve the first term at least or the first half of the term. What I’m trying to figure out is, how toxic are some of these people?”
For headhunters, the turnover in the administration makes it difficult to assess the value of potential hires. A former official could be prized for his contacts to someone still in office — but there’s no guarantee that the other official won’t also head for the exits.
“The question is, you have a rotating cast of characters in the administration and so if somebody is selling themselves as having a relation with one or two people, what is the long-term value of that given … [there appears to be] short half-life of White House employment?” Tamasi said.
The midterm elections in November are another big factor in the marketability of former Trump aides, given the possibility that Democrats could win back one or both chambers of Congress.
“[After] George W. Bush left, the Democrats controlled the House and Senate and it was really hard for some of those people [who served under Bush]. It becomes more challenging,” said Ivan Adler, a principal at The McCormick Group.
“The worst possibility for those working for Trump is to have this become a Democrat town,” he said.