Now THIS Is Incompetence: Healy Baumgardner, Trump “Senior Press Representative” On CNN

HealyAmong the various forms of unethical conduct, incompetence is often the one most difficult to assess objectively and fairly. In order to set a baseline standard for what constitutes indisputable incompetence in the performance of professional duties, I offer this, the recent appearance of “senior press representative” Healy Baumgardner on CNN with Carol Costello.

I know it’s hard to watch. Just brace yourself, and hold on. It will be over before you know it.

Healy, I think you will agree, makes Marco Rubio’s disastrous stuck-needle performance (Millennials: Once upon a time, recordings were played on these things called “record” by means of a “needle” on the arm of a “record player,” and a scratch would make the needle…oh, forget it.) during a debate cross-examination by Chris Christie look like deft repartee by comparison.

Fair conclusions to be drawn from this horror show include…

She was completely unprepared for the interview.

She can’t think on her feet.

She’s not very bright.

Her communications skills are rudimentary for a receptionist, and disgraceful for an alleged press representative.

Donald Trump will hire an idiot as long as she’s young and attractive.

It is ironic that Trump put poor, pathetic Healy on CNN the same day he released his current list of potential Supreme Court appointees. Trump keeps saying that he’d appoint “the best people,”  but the only evidence of what he considers “the best” is objectively frightening. His media spokespersons, all of them, say idiotic things with the regularity of an assembly line. Now we have Healy Baumgardner. The unrelenting ineptitude of the people Trump allows to be his public face in the media once had me convinced that he was intentionally insulting CNN et al. and trying to annoy their audiences. What other explanation could there be?

Well, maybe he thinks this is an example of a competent professional. Think about that. Can you imagine Healy Baumgardner as the White House spokesperson?

The incompetent Baumgardner is just one more smoking gun indicator of how incompetent—and also careless, arrogant, untrustworthy—Trump is, not that it matters to his supporters, because they are angry and he speaks his mind and political correctness!  To more competent voters, however, this should raise questions about who, or what, he would consider as a competent Secretary of State or Defense, especially since no one who is competent is likely to want to be part of the most disastrous experiment in Government By Fool in U.S. history.

I wonder why he hired Healy. Hmmmm. What could it be? By the way, she has appeared in public before, but always without those glasses, which I will bet came from the Trump prop department in the wake of the New York Times story about Trump’s obsession with his female employees’ ratings on the “VavaVOOM!” scale. “Here, Healy, these will make you look smart.”

I checked her resume on LinkedIn, expecting to find that Trump found her working at a Dairy Queen, but no. She has lots of experience:

A leading strategic communications advisor, spokesperson and public affairs executive, Healy E. Baumgardner has served in high-profile positions in the public and private sectors worldwide encompassing the energy, environmental, gaming, litigation, media relations and national security arenas, among others. Healy has served as a Senior Press Official at The White House, as Press Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and as a Deputy Communications Director for Mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as a strategic communications professional and chief spokesperson for Fortune 500, energy industry and start up companies, including spearheading financial communications initiatives on Wall Street and other markets. She has worked with foreign heads of state, senior staffs, governments, official delegations and media spanning every continent. Healy’s on-the-record experience includes local, regional, national, international and trade print, television, radio and internet mediums…

So now we know what kind of quality our tax dollars is paying for in all of these bureaucracies, don’t we? We also know why those bureaucracies perform as well as they do. If a dolt like Healy Baumgardner can survive for two weeks at any government job, much less be put on live television to speak for a loomimg Presidential nomination, then some quality other than ability, intellect, and diligence is valued higher than the traditional components of professional competence.

While I’m at it, let me point to the willingness of other, perhaps more respectable professionals to mislead potential employers and inflict Healy’s lack of talent and skill on them. Her LinkedIn profile includes accolades from Jeff Berkowitz, “Competitive intelligence & opposition research for companies, campaigns and causes,” who writes,

“Healy is a consummate and knowledgeable professional…”

No, she’s obviously not. No consummate and knowledgeable professional would ever deliver a performance on TV like Baumgardner’s. Okay, a  consummate and knowledgeable professional Starbucks barista maybe. Then there is Jorge Martinez, “Idea Catalyst, Ambassador of Buzz, Disruptor of the Status Quo,” who says,

“Healy Baumgardner is one of the most effective communications strategist (sic) in the country. She provides first-rate strategic counsel to clients that must speak with clarity and purpose…”

To be fair, I can see where someone who expressed himself like this guy might actually think Healy is a whiz.

Baumgardner’s miserable failure on CNN also betrays and embarrasses these allies, although they deserve to be embarrassed.

But I digress. The point is that this is professional incompetence.

And apparently, Donald Trump thinks it’s perfectly fine, and good enough for the American people.


Pointer: Mediaite

Source: LinkedIn

17 thoughts on “Now THIS Is Incompetence: Healy Baumgardner, Trump “Senior Press Representative” On CNN

      • Not much of a translation. More of a “well, I guess he means this, but he really can’t be serious . . . Can he? I have no idea but Healy is my friend and she looks like a deer in the headlights and I gotta do something to help her because she is going down in flames. I like those eyeglasses, though, She does look smart. Nice touch.”


  1. A while ago I noticed a strange high-pitched whine in the back of my ear, it’s slowly grown in volume, and I think I’ve identified it as the silent screams of America. Whenever I’m talking to my American friends, I’m reminded of… I forget her name, but the desperate looking lady on the right side of your background? The one that shrilly proclaimed that Hillary’s Email server was a dead issue?

    This is so stupid. This was the Republican’s election cycle to lose, and how better to lose it than to nominate Donald Trump? Well, the Democrats figured it out. They couldn’t have the Republicans out sucking them, you see! Nominate Hillary Clinton. And do it just before being charged with… It just hit me, if she’s charged in relation to keeping classified documents on her private server… is that a form of treason? It’s almost inarguable at this point that laws were broken, but what IS the charge?

    Regardless, you seem to have two candidates trying desperately to see who can come up with something stupider to out-stupid the last thing they did. Kim Jong Un is impressive, taking control of a country at 26, 25 years old.???? An actual, plastic, PINK woman card????

    Maybe those are my own silent screams.

  2. What do you think of those Supreme Court picks anyway? Someone I know who loathes Trump and Clinton both decided to go ahead and back Trump due to that hypothetical list.

    I’m not convinced. Though it’s possible, there’s no guarantee the next President will choose any member of the Court. That makes the list, at this time largely hypothetical. Should choosing a justice become a reality for Trump, would we trust him to actually pick someone from this list? My opinion is that he largely panders and tells people what he thinks they want to hear.

  3. Completely off topic: your note to millennials (which cracked me up) reminded me of the time a millennial tried to explain to me that the “A” side and “B” side of a recording dated back to cassette tapes cause, you know, they had two different sides. My shoulders just dropped. I may have even audibly whimpered.

  4. But I digress. The point is that this is professional incompetence.

    And apparently, Donald Trump thinks it’s perfectly fine, and good enough for the American people.

    And if he gets in, he’s right, isn’t he?

  5. Well, no matter how she was pressed, she kept saying the exact same thing. No more. No changes. That might be exactly her job. And because her moral compass is apparently MIA, she took the job to be a mouthpiece for that guy. So yeah, she’s a professional who won’t alter the party line. Ick…

  6. NTSB Assessment of the Trump Ethics Train Wreck.

    Trump has pledged to hire the best and the brightest. The trouble is that the best and the brightest have so many conflicting ethical duties, and often the rudimentary skills to navigate through these conflicts.

    The Free Society and the Free Market: firstly we live in a free society. Individuals are free to work for any employer they wish, and company’s may employee any individual they wish, provided a voluntary and satisfactory agreement between the parties can be reached. Because this process is truly voluntary, an employee becomes a representative of his company, and the company becomes a representative of its employees. Both have an ethic duty to be fair in their business dealings, and to portray both themselves, and by extension, each other publicly in a positive manner.

    Donald has proven himself in capable of not embarrassing himself to a (distressingly slim) majority of the nation. On this basis, therefore, no one of dignity will become a representative of this cretin. The assumption of good faith representation simply cannot be assumed. The risk of contamination anywhere near the Trump campaign is extraordinarily high. Donald’s inability to control himself, makes any promise maintaining a quality staff empty. On this basis alone, Trump has an ethical duty to drop out.

    However, even in a less extreme examples, reputation alone is not the only ethical duty. Faithful agency is itself a duty, particularly strong in the licensed Professions, but still vital in all specialized positions. An attorney of appropriate discipline should never turned down representation of Trump, except in a case of external conflict. A medical doctor of appropriate specialty should never refuse routine services to Trump, except in the case of external conflict. There is a strong default that members of a Profession will accept any client without bias, provided that the provider skill set is appropriate, and the standard fees acceptable.

    Such a Professional will accept Trump as a client; their duty of service, however, provides them some cover against Trump’s outrageous public behavior. Further, by their voluntary assumption of a career as a professional, they voluntarily carry some risk of personal embarrassment from a client, in exchange for the potential prestige and prosperity that often accompanies such a path. Their willingness to accept this risk is a key factor in the prestige of professional careers. Thus they can dutifully serve Trump despite his despotic, repugnant, and incompetent behavior; they of course also have a duty to sever ties should Trump directly violate his end of the bargain by failing to pay his fees or directly disparaging the professionals firm. This creates a conflict of interest that requires a firm to recuse itself.

    The duty of a bone fide professional being clear, does a media spokesperson have a similar duty? Does the position have enough professional cover to avoid immediate contamination?

    Let us, for a moment, hypothetically answer “yes”. If so, then a qualified spokesman or spokeswomen should defaultly accept the position, barring external conflict. Half the professionals in the media industry are likely Democratic partisans (which we will generously omit “hacks” from the end of the clause, since this is a hypothetical); such partisans will usually at least see working for a purported Republican as a fairly insurmountable conflict. This still leaves a sizable proportion of unaffiliated or partisan Republican spokespeople.

    If spokespeople are strongly analogous to a professional, then this is a stronger indictment of Trump. He clearly cannot screen for competence, or burned his way through the patience a professional is expected to bear. If the have no such analogous duty, then its still shows Trump to be a professional hack, neither capable of attracting or screening for skill and competence. Of course, Healy Baumgardner fails any measure of professionalism, as she has a duty to recuse herself if lacks the skills Mr. Trumps needs, which she clearly failed to do.

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