That’s according to a Washington Post report out Thursday, which features a slew of anonymous Trump aides saying the billionaire is not above passing over a candidate if they don’t look the part that he imagines for the role in his administration.
“That’s the language he speaks. He’s very aesthetic,” one person familiar with the transition team’s internal deliberations told the Post. “You can come with somebody who is very much qualified for the job, but if they don’t look the part, they’re not going anywhere.”
The newspaper also spoke with several of Trump’s associates who agreed that the former United Nations ambassador John Bolton’s bid for secretary of state was hobbled–in part–because of Bolton’s distinct walrus mustache.
“Donald was not going to like that mustache,” one anonymous Trump associate said. “I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes.”
The president-elect was also reportedly drawn to former Gov. Mitt Romney, and later to his eventual pick, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, for the secretary of state job because of an intangible “central casting” quality.
So far, the “look” Trump is seeking is clear: white and masculine.
But those close to the next president he’s willing to make an exception when it comes to White House press secretary, seeking out TV-friendly women. Those aides told the Post Trump thinks hiring a woman will be an antidote to charges of sexism and will score the viewers he’s looking for. (Because that is definitely not sexist.)
Let’s hope, for the country’s sake, that some of the guys Trump thinks can talk the talk are also able to walk the walk.