Seriously, what can you say about the short tenure of Anthony Scaramucci, the second White House communications director fired within weeks? He reminds me of a bad TV game show host. Oh, and he's an embarrassment to Catholics and Italians around the world when he repeatedly reminds everyone that he is Catholic and Italian. That's all I've got to say about him.

Instead, let's talk about the president who hired Scaramucci because he thought Scaramucci would make a "great" Director of Communications for the White House, home of the President of the United States, and leader of the free world. Can we safely say that the president is a poor judge of character? Scaramucci is a friend of the president and you know what they say about judging people by their friends.


Some people wondered if Scaramucci's foul mouth embarrassed the president. Really? His boss bragged to a real TV game show host about assaulting women by grabbing their genitals. So, no, I don't think Scaramucci's foul mouth embarrassed the guy with the foul mouth currently occupying the White House.

The new White House Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, ended the clown show and fired Scaramucci. The general is taking over a White House in chaos because the president is a poor leader and manager. But my guess is that it will be a matter of time before the general is no longer the president's favorite flavor of the day. Just ask Scaramucci and dozens of other people fired or jumping from the White House over the past six months.

The president demands loyalty from his staff but gives none in return. He publicly insults cabinet members, his intelligence agencies, the FBI and he threatens his own party members in Congress. Then he wonders why so many people in the government are leaking against him. Strong leaders understand that loyalty is earned. You can't demand it and you can't buy it. The general knows this; the president will never understand this.

When you lie all the time, you assume that everyone else is lying all the time. The president rewards praise, not the truth. So if you work in the White House, you lie and praise the president, you tell him what he wants to hear instead of what he needs to hear. Effective policy, however, is not built on falsehoods. Sooner or later, for example, the water rises, the streets flood, property values decrease and your line about climate change being a hoax is no longer relevant to reality and you are no longer relevant.

The president manages by fear and intimidation. It is an ineffective way to manage any business successfully. After seeing him in action during the past six months, we understand why he frequently declares bankruptcy. He hires poorly and supervises badly. No president in history has had more turnover of White House positions within the first six months of his presidency.

Any effective manager will tell you that communication is the key to a successful organization. Our Commander-in-Chief commands by tweets. He tweets lies about advice from his generals that they never provided, and about phone calls he never received. He tried to blame his generals on his decision to ban transgendered people from the military, but the generals didn't let him get away with the lie. It turns out that he sold out transgendered troops for a deal to get House funding for his Mexican border wall. And, no, Mexico is not paying for the wall.

Whenever he speaks, whether to the Boy Scouts or a local police department, formal apologies by the hosts must be issued for his inappropriate comments. You know it is bad when, on the same day, the leader of Boy Scouts of America and the president of Mexico issue statements rejecting the president's claims that they called him to offer praise.

For this president, the truth is optional and winning is everything, regardless of the cost, regardless of what he previously said, and regardless of who needs to be thrown under the bus. The president is not just a liar; he is a poor liar. For example, when the president stated that a recently revealed secret meeting between his family members and a group of Russians was about adoption policy, everyone knew this to be another lie. Who would believe that this president and his family were concerned about adoption policy?

Interestingly, when you lie all the time, you don't get better at it. Instead, you get lazy about it. Your lies become more and more transparent and you look more and more like a lying fool.

Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. He is program coordinator of the human services management graduate program at McDaniel College. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at