When Gary Cohn got the gig directing Donald Trump's National Economic Council, we had the same feeling that you got when you acted as a reference for your college roommate's first job; I love the guy, but he can't be qualified for this gig.
But Gary got some things done in the West Wing, and we were even almost sad to see him announce that he would be leaving, especially when we saw who was replacing him. It no longer seemed to matter that Gary wasn't really an economist or that he had no real government experience. In this short bus of an administration, Gary was a very stable genius. We didn't even blink too hard when rumors began to circulate that he might become White House Chief-of-Staff. In fact, that job seemed to be more of a fit, one that would allow him to hike up a leg outside The Oval and acquaint a chaos-prone staff with his managerially magical grundle.
As of yesterday morning, we had totally forgotten who Gary Cohn was 15 months ago. And according to a report in POLITICO, apparently so has Gary Cohn:
Former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn reached a tentative agreement with President Donald Trump to become his CIA director — but lost out on the role after Trump abruptly changed his mind.
Cohn, who resigned in early March amid a fight over tariffs, told associates at the time that he would consider rejoining the administration if Trump called and offered him “the right big job,” but he did not elaborate on what that job would be. In fact, according to three people close to the president, Cohn had already talked with Trump about taking the helm of the CIA, a job that suddenly opened up last week when Trump nominated his spy chief, Mike Pompeo, to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
"CIA Director Gary Cohn" is up there with "Surgeon General Charles Barkley," "Secretary of State Logan Paul" or "Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin." It's fucking nonsense.
Gary Cohn is a lot of things, and most of them are quite impressive, but none of them remotely qualify him to be America's spymaster. Casting aside the basic premise that Gary has no background whatsoever in intelligence of national security operations, he'd also make a terrible spy. Even on Wall Street, "Solomon Grundle" was not known to be a terribly tactful or smooth operator. Gary was an enforcer who read the tape and greased the wheels. And unless the CIA is going to totally refocus on crippling foreign governments via arcane bond offerings built to economically implode, Cohn would be really out of place in Langley [yeah , we kind of like this idea too].
The fact that Gary same close to being nominated for DCI says a lot about Donald Trump's increasing disregard for people who know what they're doing running our country, but we kind of already knew that. What this story really tells us is that Gary Cohn has maybe lost his mind as well.
If Gary really thinks he's capable of running the CIA, we are sad to see that his conversion to Trumpism is now complete. Like a snarky and uniformed Obi-Wan Kenobi we stand above him on a lava-filled hellscape and scream down into Gary's cold overly-confident eyes. "You were the chosen one!...Well, not so much "chosen" as "competent" but you get the point!"
Goldman Sachs is a powerful drug, but even Jon Corzine would have blanched at the idea of running The Justice Department [we think]. Gary has either gone so deep into this administration's dark hole of loyalty fetishism and transformative narcissism that he thinks he can actually be the head of the CIA or he was so aware of another dangerous lunatic that Trump was considering that he jumped in front and thought "No way I can do worse than that dude."
Regardless, this having almost happened troubles us as much as anything that has happened since January 20, 2017.
So, thanks for that, big guy.