Know who is a BIG fan of Kris Kobach? A guy named Kris Kobach.
You know Kobach, right? He’s the guy who briefly led a national commission on alleged (but unproven) election fraud that was ended by President Donald Trump just a few months after it was formed. And Kobach is also the one who beat the appointed Republican governor of Kansas in a GOP primary in 2018 and then went on to lose the election to a Democrat in one of the most GOP-friendly states in the country.
So, you can see why – with that sort of sparkling track record – Kobach, who made a national name for himself with his hardline views on immigration, would be in position to ask for the moon in exchange for being named Trump’s immigration czar. (SPOILER ALERT: Kobach didn’t get the job.) Which is, quite literally, what Kobach did!
According to reporting Monday night by The New York Times, here’s the list of Kobach’s demands for him to be willing to sign on as immigration czar:
1. Office in the West Wing.
2. Walk-in privileges with the President.
3. Assistant to the President rank – at highest pay level for WH senior staff.
4. Staff of 7 people (2 attorneys, 2 research analysts, 1 scheduler, 1 media person, 1 assistant).
5. POTUS sits down individually with czar and the secretaries of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice, Ag, Interior, and Commerce, and tells each of the Secretaries to follow the directives of the czar without delay, subject to appeal to the President in cases of disagreement.
6. 24/7 access to either a DHS or DOD jet. Czar must be on the border every week.
7. Ability to spend weekends in KS with family on way from border back to DC, unless POTUS needs czar elsewhere.
8. Security detail if deemed necessary after security review.
9. Serve as the face of Trump immigration policy – the principal spokesman on television and in the media.
10. Promise that by November 1, 2019, the President will nominate Kris Kobach to be DHS Secretary, unless Kobach wishes to continue in Czar position.
The only thing missing from that list is bigger bread (or smaller lunch meat) on the backstage food platter.
I mean: 24/7 access to a private government plane? Outranking any/all Cabinet secretaries whose purview includes the border? Be THE FACE of the Trump White House’s immigration efforts? (“Yes, Mr. Kobach, it’s President Trump on line 1 for you.”)
These are the sorts of demands that someone who is highly sought-after in their field likely wouldn’t even make. (I want ONLY Green M&M’s!!!) Much less someone like Kobach, who is currently not in elected office and who has never been elected to any gig higher than Kansas secretary of state.
But, wait – there’s more!
Even though Kobach won’t be getting the job as Trump’s immigration czar – one wonders which of his 10 demands sealed his fate (I am partial to #9) – that doesn’t mean we won’t be hearing from him again.
See, Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts is retiring in 2020 – and Kobach has already made clear he’s considering a run. That prospect – given his past track record – makes Senate Republicans nervous and Senate Democrats joyous.
But Kobach is immune to such concerns. He does what he does – regardless of what people say about him. He’s Kris freaking Kobach, people!