Like Icarus, Anthony Scaramucci flew too high, too fast.
On Monday, the Mooch – as he referred to himself in an expletive-laden phone call with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza that led to his demise – was fired, 10 days after he debuted as White House communications director with a press conference that ended with a blown kiss to the assembled media.
It’s a testament to the Mooch’s star power that such a sentence could be written. And a testament to his remarkably rapid self-destruction – ignited by tremendous hubris and ego.
The Mooch burst onto the scene in late July after winning a power struggle that saw then chief of staff Reince Priebus and press secretary Sean Spicer lose a fight to keep him out of the West Wing. Spicer resigned in protest. The Mooch preened and peacocked in his first press briefing, insisting that he was going to stop the leaks coming out of the White House while bringing down the heat between Trump’s aides and the media.
It all sounded – and looked! – so good.
But then someone leaked to Lizza the fact that Scaramucci was part of a dinner with the President, first lady, Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine. And Scaramucci went bananas. His attacks on Priebus as a “paranoid schizophrenic” and allegations regarding chief strategist Steve Bannon’s flexibility became a massive national story.
It appeared when Trump removed Priebus as chief of staff last Friday that somehow the Mooch had won again. But new chief of staff John Kelly made it his first order of business Monday to get rid of Scaramucci.
The Mooch seemed ready to retaliate with a planned online broadcast Friday where he would tell his side of the story. Unfortunately – because, let’s be honest, that would have been an amazing event – smart thinking got the better of him and he canceled the planned broadcast Thursday. “No Press Event Tomorrow: Focusing on Family, My Work in The Private Sector. #MovingForward Stay Tuned!,” he tweeted.
And just like that, the Mooch was gone from our lives. Gone, but not forgotten. And, knowing how Trump likes to reward loyalty and old friends, maybe, just maybe Scaramucci will reappear in Washington sometime over the next three and a half years. But not anytime soon.
Mooch, for seeing your (hair) wings melted when you flew too close to the political sun, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.