Right Hooks

Trump's Surprise VA Choice

His choice to lead the VA doesn't signal any major changes.

Political Editors · Jan. 12, 2017

During his press conference on Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that he had chosen David Shulkin to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. Trump stated, “I have no doubt Dr. Shulkin will be able to lead the turnaround our Department of Veterans Affairs needs. His sole mandate will be to serve our veterans and restore the level of care we owe to our brave men and women in the military.” This is a surprising choice given the fact that Shulkin is the current undersecretary of the VA. Why Shulkin?

It has been reported that Trump was having trouble finding someone willing to fill the difficult role of cleaning up and leading one the largest and most challenging agencies in government. One wonders if Trump concluded that absent finding an individual he was personally high on, he decided it was better to work with the current leadership at cleaning up the VA rather than to change merely for the optics of it.

Whatever his reasoning, of all Trump’s cabinet choices, the perception surrounding this one plays more like a walk on balls rather than a solid base hit. We’re not sure how this choice furthers a “draining of the swamp.” But maybe Shulkin will surprise us.

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