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Tags: mick mulvaney | white house | chief of staff | omb | director

12 Things About Mick Mulvaney You Should Know

mick mulvaney throws up his left hand while speaking during the white house daily press briefing
Incoming White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By    |   Monday, 17 December 2018 04:18 PM EST

President Donald Trump's elevation of former congressman and OMB director Mick Mulvaney as chief of staff makes sense on a lot of levels, insiders say.

A four-term member of Congress who knows his way around the marbled halls of Congress, Mulvaney is a proven Trump loyalist who can wrangle Democrats and get things done on Capitol Hill. He is also well suited to serve as a buffer between the exigencies of the presidency and the burgeoning demands of Trump's re-election campaign. 

Movement conservatives are elated – that goes without saying – and the appointment will solidify Trump's core conservative support heading into 2020. True, Trump's budgets have all been bleeding red ink. But most analysts say those deficits are occurring despite, not because of, Mulvaney.

Yet to be seen is whether the 51-year-old Tea Party champion will thrive in a West Wing under a boss who seems quite content with turmoil in the ranks. Mulvaney's fondness for details and number-crunching could be the perfect complement to balance the mercurial Trump, however.

Here are a dozen little-known facts about the new chief of staff:

  1. As a 13-year-old, he worked for Ronald Reagan. It sounds improbable for a fellow born in Northern Virginia in 1967, but USNews.com reports Mulvaney landed a gig in 1980 stuffing envelopes for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign.
  2. He is obsessed with data. At a recent White House briefing on Trump's new chief of staff, Mulvaney was described as "a numbers nerd." An insider who spends a lot of time in the West Wing tells Newsmax that despite his University of North Carolina law degree, Mulvaney "likes to crunch numbers looking at trends, and understanding how history plays a part in both the here-and-now and the future."
  3. His father tuned him into El Rushbo. While attending Georgetown University in the '80s, his father Mike, a prominent North Carolina homebuilder, suggested he listen to a new talk-radio host named Rush Limbaugh. Mulvaney was soon hooked and, according to Politico, would later gush on-air to Limbaugh: "I was one of the original Rush Babies!"
  4. He was slow to pop the question. Mulvaney met his wife, Pam, in 1992 while waiting in line at a bookstore in Chapel Hill, N.C., during his law-school years. The couple did not marry until six years later, in 1998. Their triplets were born in 2000.
  5. He attempted to build a fast-food empire. When still a state senator in South Carolina, two years before he was elected to Congress, FastCasual.com reported the future White House chief of staff planned to open six Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina franchises in South Charlotte. The site reported in 2009, "Mulvaney plans to handle day-to-day operations at all of his restaurants while his wife, Pamela, will run the catering program at each location."
  6. He is a Tea Partier of the first order. He won his first House race handily in 2010, thanks in part to support from the Tea Party. In doing so, he turned out a 14-term Democratic incumbent. USNews.com reports he became "the first Republican to represent his district since 1883."
  7. He despised the agency he ran. The outgoing chief of Office of Management and Budget also served as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the financial-industry watchdog created in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Mulvaney was never a fan of the bureau. In fact, when he was serving as a firebrand conservative from South Carolina, he once called the agency he would later run a "sick, sad" joke.
  8. Mulvaney helped oust former House Speaker John Boehner. As a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, Mulvaney played a key role in Boehner's decision to pass the speaker's gavel over to outgoing GOP Speaker Paul Ryan. A Rolling Stone analysis described Mulvaney as "the congressman who sealed the speaker's fate." Facing a growing rebellion within his own caucus, Boehner stepped down as speaker in October 2015.
  9. He lusted after OMB in his heart. Mulvaney has been pursuing the top OMB job at least since 2012. The Charleston Post and Courier newspaper from his home state of South Carolina reported Mulvaney cut a deal to support two presidential candidates, Rick Perry of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, in return for their pledge to name him OMB director.
  10. He delivered a threatening message from Trump. According to CNN.com, in April 2017, Mulvaney visited fellow Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., a Trump antagonist, to deliver a tough message. According to Sanford's account on CNN's "State of the Union," Mulvaney told him: "'The president hopes you vote against [GOP healthcare reform] because he wants to run somebody against you if you do.'" Mulvaney told CNBC's John Harwood he has a different recollection of the encounter, but added "Mark hasn't endeared himself to the new administration." Sanford suffered an embarrassing defeat in this summer's GOP primary, after Trump endorsed his opponent and tweeted he had been "very unhelpful" to his administration.
  11. He called Trump a "terrible human being." In what must have made for an uncomfortable job interview, The Daily Beast reported Friday that just before Trump was elected president, Mulvaney remarked he was supporting him "as enthusiastically as I can, given the fact that I think he's a terrible human being. But the choice on the other side is just as bad." Hardly the only Republican to feel ambivalent in supporting Trump, Mulvaney's camp is calling the latest report "old news."
  12. He is honest about the swamp. In April, speaking at the American Bankers Association's annual conference, Mulvaney committed the crime of truth. "We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress," he said. "If you're a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn't talk to you. If you're a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you." Mulvaney emphasized he has always met with his constituents, regardless of their political influence. Although some wags acted shocked, political scientists described his remarks as an honest, if somewhat brazen, description of how Washington actually works.

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President Donald Trump's elevation of former congressman and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as chief of staff makes sense on a lot of levels, insiders say, and here are a dozen little-known facts about the new chief of staff.
mick mulvaney, white house, chief of staff, omb, director
Monday, 17 December 2018 04:18 PM
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