We now know that Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state is Rex Tillerson, Exxon CEO and pal of Vladimir Putin. What we didn’t fully know is what factors played into his decision – at least not until now.
Reporting over the past couple days has indicated that the president-elect’s vetting process relied on “the look” of his potential picks. In two instances, Trump reportedly passed on a candidate, not based on their qualifications, but because of physical traits like height and facial hair.
According to the Daily Caller, a pair of sources close to Trump’s transition team said the president-elect thought Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker was too short to be secretary of state. The report noted that Trump felt the nation’s top diplomat needed to be taller.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) December 22, 2016
Another front-runner to be Trump’s secretary of state was neocon John Bolton. While Bolton’s height wasn’t an issue, his mustache was one of the reasons why Trump passed on him, according to a recent report in the Washington Post.
“Donald was not going to like that mustache,” said an unnamed source, according to the Post. “I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes.”
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) December 22, 2016
The fact that physical appearance has weighed heavily into Trump’s cabinet picks is outrageous, but it’s not surprising. After all, Trump has a well-documented history of attacking the looks of those who don’t worship him, particularly when they’re women.
But as much as Trump hopes the presidency is just a fun reality show, it’s not. He is no longer casting characters for some overrated reality television show or judging a beauty contest. He’s choosing who will run the country for the next four years.
There’s more at stake now than TV ratings, and it’s time the president-elect started making decisions accordingly.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.