Anthony Scaramucci was lucky enough to nab a job he was born to do. But an extraordinarily foolish move destroyed his chances to keep it for even two weeks. Now an administration that desperately needs to get control of its messaging will have to start from square one.
The White House announced Scaramucci's ouster as communications director Monday, just 10 days after he was first appointed to the job. But more importantly, the removal comes less than a week after Scaramucci made an inexplicably poor decision to call a staff reporter at the New Yorker magazine and unload on some of his colleagues in the Trump administration in graphic and obscene terms.
Even by the non-traditional standards of this White House, Scaramucci's comments to a reporter with whom he was not close were simply shocking. The interview made him toxic, especially now that tight-ship-running General John Kelly is the White House chief of staff. If Kelly's main job is to make sure the leaks and in-fighting stops, he just took a big step toward achieving those goals by dumping "the Mooch."
Now, Kelly will have to find a replacement with more personal discipline than Scaramucci, but not an establishment figure like Sean Spicer. As I wrote when he was first appointed, Scaramucci was a good choice for an administration that put too many establishment Republicans like former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in key positions.
Messaging is so important in politics. The Trump administration's inability to do it consistently is the most galling failure of this presidency. And the one key factor that's been missing in that messaging is discipline.
The White House now has a disciplinarian like Kelly to get things in order. But the big problem here is still communications. And unlike defense, transportation, or even housing, President Trump sees himself as the complete communications team with his tweets and off-the-cuff comments. At some point, if Kelly wants to keep running a tight ship he's going to have to find a way to temper the president himself.
Commentary by Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.
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