It won’t be easy to fill John Kelly’s shoes, and not because of a masterful job by the retired Marine general, rather, because all the logical candidates have seen this movie before, and there is no happy ending.  Sunday, Nick Ayers confirmed he was turning down the job, and, he’s leaving his chief of staff post with Vice President Mike Pence. How do you go from leading candidate to leaving the White House altogether in a matter of hours?  Donald Trump wants a two-year commitment.  But that’s what he told Kelly too.

Politico writes:

In any ordinary White House, the job he is declining — for what he calls family reasons — would be an ambitious insider’s dream. To take two recent examples: Rahm Emanuel, who served as chief of staff to President Barack Obama, went on to serve as mayor of Chicago, and Leon Panetta, who spent two and a half years in the job under President Bill Clinton, served as CIA chief and Secretary of Defense.

It’s a different story under Trump. A job that was once a ticket to Washington royalty has recently become a laughing stock. Trump’s first two top aides, Kelly and Reince Priebus before him, have left as diminished and arguably humiliated figures, unable to control the wild chaos of this president’s White House. 

Trump was also reportedly looking at Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, but that appears  unlikely too. CNBC says:

“Mnuchin has indicated to his inner circle that he feels best served as the head of Treasury, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the privacy of the ongoing discussions.

“Then there are reports budget director Mick Mulvaney is on the short list. This isn’t looking promising either.”

That leaves a handful of other possible replacements including ultra-conservative GOP Representative Mark Meadows.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are also said to be in the running, but Lightizer has indicated a lack of interest.