White House much relieved at mass shooting timeout

The slaughter of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school was a welcome relief to people at the White House, because it took the heat off them for a change. They’d been having a baaaaaad week until then. Whew! Thanks, 17 dead people!

One White House official said the shooting forced the White House to focus on critical and serious issues — like consoling the victims and trying to heal the nation — rather than getting bogged down in what they view as more trivial West Wing drama.

“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve,” said the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect internal conversations. “A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.”

The official likened the brief political calm to the aftermath of the October shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and hundreds more injured. That tragedy united White House aides and the country in their shared mourning for the victims and their families.

“But as we all know, sadly, when the coverage dies down a little bit, we’ll be back through the chaos,” the official said.

Awww. That is sad. Poor White House aides. If only there could be a mass shooting every other day.

The three-day Presidents’ Day weekend added to the hiatus, with Trump traveling to his private Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., with only a few aides and giving others on his beleaguered staff a chance to rest and recuperate.

Among those accompanying the president was Kelly, who earlier in the week appeared in serious jeopardy of losing his job. The chief of staff had lost the support of some senior aides, and last Tuesday evening rumors were rampant that his days — or even hours — were numbered because Trump had been sounding out friends and advisers about possible replacements.

Wednesday’s shooting, how­ever, effectively stabilized Kelly’s standing internally, officials said, shifting the media glare away from him and giving the retired four-star Marine general a chance to perform his job in helping to coordinate the federal response.

So that sure turned out well for Kelly, didn’t it! What a stroke of luck.

“The national tragedy in Florida has really, for now, turned the page on some of these crises,” said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist close to the White House. “They’re going to come back, but what it does do is give the White House a chance to collect itself and, if they can, organize a communications strategy and get their ducks in a row.”

Yay! Thanks, Nikolas Cruze. What a good citizen.

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