Trump's Legislative General: W&L and the White House
By Andrew Zandomenego '19
Since Washington and Lee’s Mock Con prediction, Donald Trump not only swept the GOP ticket, but paved his way into the White House. Following inauguration, Trump appointed Marc Short, a Washington and Lee graduate, as the new administration’s Director of Legislative Affairs.
With tensions reaching an all-time high, the new administration falls into a sticky wicket in its pursuit to Make America Great Again. The stark contrast between proponents and opponents of Trump’s agenda has proved to be a monumentally difficult obstacle.
Although the dissatisfaction expressed by steadfast adversaries creates a road block between American trust and the Presidency, experienced members on Trump’s team, such as Short, provide a ray of hope for those who fear a President with no political background.
According to a Politico article, Short’s extensive political career began when he joined Oliver North’s Senate campaign, two years after graduating Washington and Lee. Although North lost his ’94 bid, Short’s conservative passion led him to Reagan Ranch. There he began work for America’s Youth Foundation: an organization that strives to develop American youth with an interest in political issues.
With the political support of America’s Youth Foundation, Short’s career took its first major stride into Washington as he joined George W. Bush’s administration in the Department of Homeland Security.
Following his stint with the Department of Homeland Security, Short found employment under Senator Key Bailey Hutchison, one of Ladies Home Journal’s top thirty most powerful women. Here, Short built the connections that would eventually catapult him into Trump’s administration. Working extensively with Congressman Mike Pence, Short found himself Chief of Staff of Pence’s House Republican Conference.
Throughout the years leading to the 2016 GOP race, Short remained deeply rooted in Republican efforts to resist Barrack Obama’s Democratic policy. In 2016, Short built close ties with Marco Rubio, serving as his senior campaign advisor until Rubio’s chances went belly-up.
According to Ballotpedia, given Pence’s comprehensive knowledge of Short’s abilities and background, the Vice President played an important role in Short’s integration into the Trump team. As the VP’s campaign communication advisor, Short demonstrated early signs of his critical function in the administration. It was his expertise during Pence’s campaign that ultimately led to his appointment in the White House.
Short now faces unknown waters as he steps into his new role, Director of Legislative Affairs. He is responsible for constructing a team to gain momentum on Trump’s legislative plans. Regarding highly-debated topics such as: immigration, healthcare, taxation, and unemployment, Short finds himself at the backbone of the new administration’s efforts to pass legislation that reflects the interests of the people and Republican party.
The team recently experienced difficulty passing new healthcare legislation that aimed at eradicating Obamacare. While the bill’s withdrawal from the floor spurs uncertainty for this reform’s prospect, Trump plans on reintroducing the bill for an official vote. This follows the travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries: another initial misstep in Trump’s efforts that furthered the breach between the President and disillusioned Americans.
These two setbacks are not indications of a crippled, inefficient era of progress. Rather, the new administration’s adjustment to the complex political process heightened by an unamused public.
Members, such as Short, with far-reaching experience in the Republican community and an infamous reputation for cooperation in cross-party relations stand imperative in the creation of future legislation, ensuring the President’s reality of a more prosperous America.