(CNN)With all the turmoil in the Trump administration — the President’s relentless torture of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson might be plotting his “Rexit,” an increasingly anorexic Obamacare repeal effort and so many leaks that Trump’s next appointment should be Plumber General — the resignation of Sean Spicer upon the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci might be the only ray of sunshine seeping in through the White House cracks.
Obviously, Reince Priebus likely disagrees, as Scaramucci tweeted at the chief of staff, linking him to some of those very leaks. This morning, Scaramucci even called in to CNN to warn: “As you know from the Italian expression: The fish stinks from the head down.”
Now say what you want about the scrappy, slick New York Eye-talian out of ex-banker central casting and his colorful gesticulations, but I for one am cautiously excited about the era of the Mooch. Here’s a few reasons why:
1. He loves the camera. As a disappointed Republican and very troubled member of the media, I’ve been tough on this White House and Trump’s hostility to the press. When the President’s press shop started adopting that hostility, closing White House press briefings to cameras and threatening to end them altogether, it felt like a State TV feed wasn’t far behind. Scaramucci promised the cameras will be back on under his tenure. Even if that’s just because the guy loves to catch his own mugshot on television, this is a good thing for the press and the American people.
2. He speaks Trump. The early days of the Trump administration were a lot like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Trump and his rag-tag team of political neophytes brought the Washington establishment version of Socrates, Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon together to help get up to speed. But the language barrier and experience disparities created chaos, not an intellectual powerhouse. Scaramucci, as CNN’s Jeanne Moos pointed out, talks Trump’s language. Literally — he uses Trump’s exact words. Unlike Spicer, who was not a native speaker, the Mooch doesn’t need a translator. That offers us a far more direct line to the President’s inner thinking, as opposed to the garbled, lost-in-translation version we’d grown accustomed to.
3. He seems to have the President’s ear. How many times did we watch Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, et al., likely through no fault of their own, struggle to answer the simplest questions about the President’s plans and positions? Worse, how many times did they answer them inaccurately? And worst, how many times did the President actually say or tweet something that totally contradicted them? For whatever reasons, Trump clearly doesn’t give his press shop the full story, or any story, before they go out to do their jobs. If he trusts Scaramucci more, maybe we’ll get more answers, fewer contradictions and less confusion.
4. He seems kind of human (so far.) Trump’s cellophane-thin skin makes him an unforgiving adversary. When CNN apologized for and pulled a story that connected Scaramucci to a Russian investment firm, he could have “punched back twice as hard,” as Trump likes to. Instead, he graciously accepted its apology. News organizations, despite best efforts, will get stories wrong occasionally. If they admit their mistakes, it’s nice to know he has the ability to forgive — instead of banning them.
5. He might just widen Trump’s support. Among conservatives, that is. According to one of my sources, he’s already reached out to a number of anti-Trump and reluctant-Trump right-wingers, ostensibly to bring more of them on board the messaging train. Hopefully that’s through relationship- and trust-building, and not strong-arming. Trump might think he can be a successful president without the support of half of the Republican Party, but he’s wrong.