RUSH: The way the game is normally played, you have Donald Trump, the newly elected president. You’ve got Mitch McConnell over in the Senate. He’s got two-seat majority, would like it to be bigger. So a deal was arranged, everybody thought, and Trump would choose a woman by the name of Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat Senator from North Dakota, and give her a cabinet slot, which would open up her Senate seat that a Republican would probably win in a special election, giving Mitch McConnell an additional seat in the Senate.
And it would give Trump a Democrat female in his cabinet and everybody would be happy, except Trump said, “I don’t want to do that.” So Trump went out and he had a meeting with a guy named Ryan Zinke from Montana. Now, before he had the meeting with Ryan Zinke of Montana the word had been put out that he was gonna name Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was in a Republican leadership (she’s from Washington) and gonna make her secretary of the Department of Interior.
You know, she’s a big hunting and fish babe and knows the outdoors up there, the state of Washington and so forth. She’s a perfect pick and all that — and replacing her seat? The district is safe. It’d not be a loss in the House. And so Trump would get a woman, get her to the Department of the Interior. But then somebody said, “You need to talk to this guy Ryan Zinke,” and Trump did, and he loved the guy.
After one meeting, he loved Ryan Zinke and picked him for the Department of Interior, thereby putting the kibosh on Mitch McConnell’s plans to get an the additional Senate seat because Zinke is from Montana, and he was such a great guy, he’s being tailored for higher political office, and Trump said, “You know what? I want the guy in my cabinet.” So Mitch is now stuck with Heidi Heitkamp in the Senate as a Democrat, and Paul Ryan doesn’t get Zinke in the House, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers is staying.
Now, I guarantee you, if this were any other Republican president, Heidi Heitkamp would have been chosen, ’cause there have been coordination between the new president and McConnell and Ryan, and they would have come to this understanding, “We can get rid of a Democrat in the Senate and get closer to 60. Yep! We can get a Democrat in the cabinet and a woman to boot? Yep!” So all this identity politics stuff would have been the order of the day. And then Paul Ryan would have had his chance at Zinke in the House and promoting him to whatever great, lofty heights they had planned for him.
And Trump comes in and after one interview with Ryan Zinke says, “You are my man for the Interior.” I would hate to be the person had to call Cathy McMorris Rodgers, because as far as everybody was concerned, that was a lock. It was done. I mean, as close to a lock and done as you can get. Now, the illustration, the point of this is Trump is not doing anything, in this example. It is the exact opposite of the way the so-called game in the establishment and the way party politics and all of that is played.
The establishment people who are looking on this move very disapprovingly are privately cussing Trump for being selfish, not being a party man, not having long-range vision and so forth, and Trump’s sitting up there saying, “I love this guy! He’d be perfect for the Department of the Interior. He is exactly the kind of guy I want.” So he offered him the gig; the guy took the gig, by the way, from what I understand. And so Mitch McConnell is kind of left hanging over there. This wouldn’t happen if it were any other Republican.