Usually, no part of this process matters to anyone outside of Washington. In 2009, President Barack Obama named a combination of ex-Bill Clinton aides, senior Democratic staffers on Capitol Hill, veteran Washington figures and a few of his longtime allies from Chicago politics to key jobs in the White House and in the Cabinet. The people in top jobs may have been slightly different than if Hillary Clinton had been elected president but not by much. Obama, like Hillary Clinton, was a center-left Democrat from the party’s congressional wing, campaigned as such and picked a team to govern that reflected the prevailing ideology in his party.
But now, White House staffers, cabinet secretaries and other advisers matter. Bigly. President Trump didn’t come from any existing wing of the Republican Party. He didn’t run as a tea party-type like Ted Cruz or in the center-right style of George W. and Jeb Bush. There is no nationalist, Trump-style faction of the Republican Party in Congress that can be plucked to fill out an entire administration.