Bob Woodward’s recent book, Fear, has been grabbing all the headlines in recent days for its portrayal of a US cabinet in disarray.
Whilst none of this will come as a shock to anyone who has been observing the soap opera-esque scenes coming out of the White House over the last eighteen months, the book does offer new insight into the endless disquiet that now appears to define life at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, and also gives some fresh perspective on the odds for a Trump departure.
Of prime note from Woodward’s account is how few among Trump’s entourage appear to be in tune with the president’s policies.
As reaffirmed by the now infamous New York Times open editorial, many of the White House’s staff are going to great lengths to stall or even blindside the president to ensure that certain policies simply do not get enacted.
And it seems that the claim applies even to those who are more or less in alignment with Trump’s overall worldview. Their problem, it seems, is related to his management style.
Woodward offers up a picture of a president both frustrated and isolated. Trump’s natural temperament is to shoot from the hip and, as a result, he is clearly not enjoying a job that demands at least some respect for protocol.
Since the book’s publication, we have seen Paddy Power – who have created a new category of Trump specials on its website – cutting the odds for a Trump resignation to 3/1.
But whilst a Trump early departure looks increasingly on the cards – at least if Woodward’s book is anything to go by – the prospect of impeachment is almost certainly disappearing from the horizon. In that respect, Paddy Power’s current odds of 1/2 for non-impeachment are looking like increasingly good value.
According to Woodward, the Democrats appear unwilling to pursue the option because of the wider instability it could provoke – particularly on the ground amongst die-hard Trump followers. In any case, such a measure would require some buy-in from anti-Trump Republicans who, especially after the passing of John McCain, appear unwilling to risk a split within their own camp.