Trump Is ‘Losing a Limb’ With the Departure of Hope Hicks

The departure of Ms. Hicks, arguably the least experienced person to ever hold the job of White House communications director, capped an astounding rise for a political neophyte whose seemingly implausible career hinged on a deep understanding of, and bottomless patience for, her mercurial charge.

.. Ms. Hicks had stopped monitoring news coverage of herself, restricting her television intake to Fox News, which she often watched on mute,

.. Jia Tolentino tweeted: “Goodbye to Hope Hicks, an object lesson in the quickest way a woman can advance under misogyny: silence, beauty, and unconditional deference to men.”

..  Ms. Hicks’s success was viewed as a product of other qualities, including her nuanced understanding of Mr. Trump’s moods, her ability to subtly nudge him away from his coarser impulses and her skill as a liaison for some of the most prominent journalists in the country.

.. “When she tells you something, you know she is speaking to the president, because she is with him all the time,” said Steve Scull an administration riven by infighting, Ms. Hicks’s privileged position with the president meant that, for journalists, she was among the few officials whose information was deemed reliable, or at least not often compromised by personal squabbles.

.. Those confident in Ms. Hicks’s future prospects sounded more concerned about Mr. Trump and his ability to work without an aide he has relied on nearly every day for three years.

“This is not losing a staffer,” Mr. Feldman said. “This is like losing a limb.”

Israelis cheered for Trump. But they may miss Obama more than they expected.

Policy vs. personality in Middle East politics.

Real policy differences over Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran caused innumerable disagreements, many of them quite public. But during my time representing the United States here, I found that the caricature of universal Israeli hostility to Obama was overstated.
.. the arrival of a president who “at last” would support Israel unconditionally and not pressure the country to limit settlement growth or make concessions to the Palestinians.
Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, declared, “Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state.”
.. revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward a two-state solution, with the support of key Arab states
.. With Obama, Israelis may not always have gotten everything they wanted. But they always got consistency. Obama held as a firm principle the idea that the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security was unconditional.
.. relationship mature enough and durable enough to withstand such differences — but they needed to know that the United States was a reliable ally when it mattered most. And he delivered
.. they came to appreciate was Obama’s style of leadership: steady, thoughtful, knowledgeable.
.. he had the maturity, the discipline and the judgment to reach well-informed decisions that benefited Israel’s security.
.. The result was a period of unprecedented intimacy between our militaries and intelligence services.
.. I was struck by the depth of appreciation that senior Israeli military officers and intelligence officials expressed for Obama’s contributions to Israel’s security, often drawing a contrast with sentiments expressed by their politicians or the public.
.. Amos Gilad, a longtime senior defense official.. told me: “It’s easy to criticize Obama. But on the military front, the relationship was incredible.”
.. His unpredictability .. was already a source of anxiety
.. Israelis now have to ask which Trump will show up for work each day — the friend who pledges his loyalty or the adolescent who can lash out at allies such as Australia and Canada, and perhaps one day Israel?
.. His lack of knowledge, compounded by his aversion to reading and short attention span
.. His carelessness
.. shaken the confidence of the Israeli intelligence services in the reliability of the United States as a partner
.. indifferent to democratic values and institutions and enamored of authoritarian leaders is harming the United States’ standing globally, which is never good for Israel.
.. off the record, officials are beginning to acknowledge that something has changed.
.. erratic, unreliable leader?
.. David Ben-Gurion, gave President John F. Kennedy
.. The best way you can help Israel, Ben-Gurion told him, is “by being a great President of the United States.”