February 3, 2017–The remarkable rise of Steve Bannon is the talk of several towns I know. For the moment the conventional wisdom seems to be that Mr. Bannon is taking over the National Security Council (NSC) staff from Mike Flynn and that his influence in the White House is unmatched. It was Bannon and Jared Kushner who attended on the president and helped Trump at the moment of his decision for the SEAL raid into Yemen that killed the Al-Awlaki child. And it’s reported that Bannon is seeking his own spokesperson–a sure sign of visions of self-importance in Washington.
There’s no time for anything substantial today, but if there is a battle for the White House I’d not put my money on Bannon. As noted in this space the other day, Reince Priebus is there to put shots across the bow at the NSC. Another strain of going for broke is that Bannon cannot ultimately compete with the Trump family. It was Ivanka, not the chief strategist, who accompanied the president to receive the body of the SEAL killed on that mission.
The thing about hot air balloons is that you have to pump them up without ceasing. If the air cools they fall to earth. If it escapes–say from a shot that breaches the balloon membrane–they crash.