Rating the sycophants around Donald Trump, from one to five bootlicks - Macleans.ca

Rating the sycophants around Donald Trump, from one to five bootlicks

Some cabinet members offered little to no praise for Trump and are not included here, since soon they will probably also not be included in cabinet


Let’s rank the sycophancy of remarks made by members of the Trump cabinet during that weird meeting where the President went around the table so his underlings could say something nice about him in front of the cameras.

Comments are rated from one to five bootlicks. (Some cabinet members offered only perfunctory praise of the President—or none at all—and are not included below. Going forward, they will probably also not be included in the cabinet.)

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General: “It’s an honour to be able to serve you.”

Pretty mild praise at first glance—but look again: Sessions purposefully chose to say “serve you” instead of “serve the American people,” which is the sort of nuance that Trump would notice. (Actually, it’s the only nuance he would notice.) In retrospect, this is exactly the kind of slyly flattering remark we should expect to hear from a man who resembles a Harry Potter house elf.


Mike Pence, Vice President: “The great privilege of my life is to serve as Vice President to a President who’s keeping his word to the American people.”

This is smooth. Suck up a little bit, then use the “keeping his word” reference to make it clear to everyone at the table—especially the President—that, yep, he’s totally willing to lie to keep his job.

Bootlicks: 3-tongues

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy: “My hat’s off to you for taking that stand [on the Paris Accord]—for sending a clear message around the world that America is going to continue to lead on energy.”

By state law, all fawning, submissive remarks made by a Texan must include one (1) reference to a hat.


Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation: “Hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled” that the President paid a visit to the department during Infrastructure Week.

Quality sycophancy is about much more than straightforward praise. This is a savvy remark because it plays to Trump’s belief that his mere presence brings joy and excitement into the otherwise bleak and unremarkable lives of average, everyday losers. She should have said someone fainted. He would have spoken of nothing else for two weeks.

Bootlicks: 3-tongues

Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff: “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing you’ve given us to serve.”

A fairly innocuous statement until we get to the word “blessing”—which positions Trump as a god-like figure bestowing his grace upon the worthy. In other words: exactly how Trump sees himself in his gold-leafed mirror each morning. For the record, news accounts about the internal workings of the Trump White House suggest that Priebus himself has so far primarily been “blessed” with 150 straight days of poop sandwiches.

Bootlicks:  4-tongues

Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture: “I just got back from Mississippi. They love you there. I want to congratulate you on the men and women you’ve placed around this table. This is the team you’ve assembled that’s working hand in glove for the benefit of America. These are great team members and we’re on your team.”

On the surface, Perdue comes off as a folksy lickspittle. AW, SHUCKS! CONGRATULATIONS ON PEOPLE ADORING YOU, SIR! But look closer and you’ll see his tragic mistake: Perdue offers praise to a number of human beings who are—and this is crucial—not Donald Trump. The first rule of Trump Club is don’t talk about anyone other than Trump.

Bootlicks: 1-tongue

Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services: “What an incredible honour it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me and the leadership you’ve shown.”

This isn’t fancy but it is brown-nosing at its finest—a master class in professional bootlicking. This man should have his own reality television series called Ass Kissers! (Each week, Price travels to a different workplace and instructs beleaguered employees on the finer points of being a slavish flunky). Given his moment to shine in front of the President, look what he packs into just two sentences:

• Hits the obligatory “incredible honour” line.

• Moves on to acknowledge his own role as a leader – but only in the context of praising Trump’s leadership and clearly positioning himself as an inferior.

• Brings it home with deferential statement of personal gratitude and yet another reference to the President’s leadership.

That’s some good toadying!

Bootlicks: 5-tongues


Rating the sycophants around Donald Trump, from one to five bootlicks

  1. I always used to wonder how someone as obviously crazy as Hitler managed to gather a loyal cabinet around him.

    Now I know.

    • The harmony is the melody and the melody is the harmony. I’m paying more attention to the brief blurbs from media. NFA, they got the F right.

      He acts as a mob boss.

  2. OH come on Scott! These were great but there’s so much more! The overly excited Mikey Muvaney couldn’t contain his pride in the budget (only off by 7 million)

  3. It’s hard to imagine how low your self-esteem must be to demand this of your employees. Or how small your ‘hands’ are.

    • And this is different from the overwhelming number of Obama sycophants in the North American media how, exactly?
      Does this magazine intend to give any coverage to the illegal use of the NSA under the Obama admin at all, or is that under embargo? Ditto the fact that Congress has re-opened the investigation into the activities of Lois Lerner at the IRS, under Obama.
      Please note for future reference, when an individual invokes the 5th Amendment during testimony, that means they are acknowledging that a criminal act has been committed, and that they were at some level involved in the commission of said crime. That’s basic logic.
      Lois Lerner, IRS- multiple invocations of the 5th.
      Bryan Pagliano, Hillary Clinton IT staffer- 125 invocations of the 5th Amendment while being deposed regarding the configuration and ultimate disposition of Hillary Clinton’s illegal email server.
      If you’re going to provide wall-to-wall coverage of DC, you need to stop with the whitewashing of the Democrats.

      • Nice deflect…. but this article is about the pathetic, narcissistic child who is sitting in the White House now … whatever Obama’s faults, at least he’s a grown-up.

        • Except that the crimes committed by members of the Obama admin, including people in the Obama inner circle, are still relevant.

          • To you perhaps… not to the rest of us.

          • Absolutely right Bill. If Hillary was properly prosecuted, she’d never see the light of day again. Those who crap on Trump do not understand what four more years of Obama via Clinton would have produced. Harvard did a full analyses of Obama’s lack of accomplishments and have him tied with Carter for worst President in the history of the U.S He at least was a good orator with some charisma. Hillary had neither of those attributes.

      • Bill, every time you bring up Obama’s behavior in response to an article analyzing Trump’s behavior, I cringe because it puts me in mind of those who bring up Harper in response to every article that is critical of Trudeau. We understand that you feel this is about “the Democrats” but they don’t hold the office of POTUS or control either house. Months have gone by and Trump’s behavior has been inappropriate at times, so much so that people like Paul Ryan are making excuses for it by saying Trump is new to the job. Ryan isn’t saying look at the Democrats. He gets it. Trump wanted to drain the swamp…It is time to accept Trump doesn’t need apologists, he needs to take some good advice from someone like Ryan.

  4. All I can say is … HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA …. BURP!!! ….. WRETCH !!!!! ….

    • I feel that way about all the drivel Feschuk produces.

  5. Trump is the fentanyl for the media. The reality is that if the press just ignored him and stuck to the policies then it would be a whole different story. But they can not stop their addiction and Trump feeds off it.

    • That would be true if DT quit behaving as if he is leading the Mickey Mouse Club.

    • Not reporting on Trump would be like not reporting on the Hindenburg…or the Titanic…or Chernobyl…or Exxon Valdez…Deepwater Horizon…

      It’s a journalist’s job to report on enormous man-made disasters.

      • I think the intention of Dough is not for journalists to ignore man-made disasters, but to instead concentrate on what the man is making rather than the man. There is plenty of material there, but journalists tend to focus on the man rather than what they’re making, leaving journalism as little more than institutionalised gossips.

        That said, it was fun to lampoon these pathetic boot-licking sycophants by simply quoting them. It’s really important though to make sure your stomach is empty first.

  6. Never have I seen a man so pilloried as Donald Trump, and you are part of the pack, Macleans. The attacks on him are so vicious – i.e. the beheading incident, and the Shakespeare play. I don’t expect he could do anything which would please you. Personally, I think the man should be given a fair chance. Immigration is totally out of control in the U.S., and the Obama health care plan is falling apart as we speak. Yet, all anyone can talk about is this ridiculous Russia thing. The democrats should get over it – they lost the election!

    • But those wacko, thumb sucking Democrats will say, “But Hillary won the popular vote.” While that has nothing to do with the electoral system in the U.S., the fact is that Trump was leading the popular vote as well until they rolled in the snow flakes in California.
      The Democrats just can’t accept that they blew $ 1 billion trying to get a loser elected so now they are bent on destroying Trump who has far better policies than Obama ever thought of!

    • Do you really believe Obama wiretapped Trump Tower? Do you think the press should ignore Trump’s tweets? He is the POTUS. The POTUS lives in a fish bowl. If the POTUS displays eccentricities, they will be subjected to critical analysis by the press. That is part of the job description. Macleans is not Fox News, The Rebel, Breibart or any other right leaning news source. If you are looking for journalists to make excuses for the behavior Trump has displayed, you will have to get your news from those who present a right leaning perspective.

      • With the Rebel/Breibart/Fox crowd’s perpetual stalking of media products they claim to detest, where do they find time to partake of that which they claim to support?

  7. I like President Donald because he lets us have gummy bears at break time.
    : -)