Like many of our past snarky jokes that became future Trump Administration realities, Larry Kudlow officially took over as NEC director this week and the transition has been seamless.
To clarify, by "Seamless" we mean that Trump is still bloviating about trade wars and stretching our understanding of securities fraud by targeting American companies that threaten his ego, but Larry has stepped perfectly into Gary Cohn's shoes to tell Wall Street that Trump is just bullshitting and everything's gonna be fine. The only difference is that Trump has ramped up the crazy, so Larry is just what the doctor ordered.
Unlike sweet dead Gary, who sometimes looked overmedicated and/or on the very outer edge of reason as he smiled too broadly and pretended that everything was "great," Kuddles is being a smarmier and more imperious version of "West Wing Jim Halpert." Instead of a winking stentorian sin-eater, Larry is doing more of a smooth, jaunty character who stage whispers what Trump really thinks and blows literal kisses at the press. In effect he's being Extra Larry Kudlow.
Wheras Cohn might have been vague and coy about what Trump "really" meant with his trade war tweets and podium rhetoric, telling the press "We'll see" or "I think you'll like what we're coming up with," Kudlow prefers to saunter onto the White House lawn, find as many cameras as possible that can pick up the true incandescence of his shiny pastel ties and say shit like this:
But there's more in Kuddles tool bag than merely sounding like the town drunk character from a stereotype-fueled Irish fantasy story. He can also avail himself of cozy relationships with the press by 'whispering' to former colleagues that he really knows what Trump is thinking. CNBC's Kayla Tausche knows what we're talking about...
"Yes, it's possible," National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters when asked if there was a chance measures meant to punish alleged Chinese trade abuses would not go into effect. The actions could be a tactic to get China to negotiate on trade practices.
"It's part of the process. I mean, I would take the president seriously on this tariff issue," he added. "You know, there are carrots and sticks in life, but he is ultimately a free trader. He's said that to me, he's said it publicly. So he wants to solve this with the least amount of pain."
That's a very heavy shovel of horseshit, but Larry handles it with such aplomb that he went on to basically tell Tausche he had solved NAFTA and then marched back inside to tell John Kelly he can stop letting crazy Peter Navarro and semi-conscious Wilbur Ross wander onto the White House lawn and talk to the press.
After Kuddles was finished schmoozing, the White House felt compelled to let everyone know that Larry is the new guy to listen to [the "please ignore Navarro and Wilbur was unsubtly implied], and then the market actually bounced back on the day after an early panic. And if you think for a moment that Larry Kudlow isn't taking credit for that, then you don't Larry Kudlow.
We still say he's out by Memorial Day.