Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick to head the Treasury Department. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Congratulations! The American people have given you the formidable responsibility of assembling a Cabinet. The best Cabinet ever, you promised! And with none of the problems of previous Cabinets. And without any ties to plutocrats or the grotesque handful of corporations, like Goldman Sachs, that are squeezing the life out of the American people. You will not let the American people down!

1. Surreptitiously Google “What is a Cabinet?”

2. The first thing that comes up is some sort of rap battle from that cursed musical “Hamilton.”

3. Okay. This is fine. You can do this.


5. If you had only known you would have had more children.

6. Okay, you had better write these departments down. Where is a pen?

7. “How is the Cabinet coming?” Melania Trump asks. “Fine,” you say, holding up a pen. “Huge progress.”

8. Mitt Romney has called you eight times. You wonder why.

9. “The Cabinet,” you read online, “includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General.” This is too many. No.

10. Sit with your head in your hands in an attitude of desperation until Ivanka Trump comes in. Tweet something ambiguous about your mental state. Members of the press take it literally and worry that you are coming for them.

11. If America were a dictatorship, would you still need to do all this? Probably you would need to do more. Ugh. Why can’t America be like England where boring people get to yell at each other about policy and one person gets to wear ermine and sashay elegantly around touching babies and having diamond jubilees?

12. Maybe there is a reality TV show about Cabinets. Spend the next six hours surfing cable trying to find one.


14. “How is the Cabinet coming?” Reince Priebus asks.

15. “Great.”

16. “Any names in particular spring to mind?” Priebus asks. You glance helplessly around the room. There is a menu from the Trump Grill and a bill for hair restoration. “Price,” you say, hopelessly. “Chow.” He keeps staring at you hopefully. “Jeff,” you say. There is probably someone in the world named Jeff.

17. “Tom Price?” Priebus asks. “Elaine Chao? Jeff … Sessions?”

18. “Yes, obviously.”

19. Squint down at the list, and pick three departments at random. “Health and Human Services, Transportation and attorney general.”

20. Priebus shrugs. “Sure,” he says. “Why not?”

21. You nod. “Any thoughts for secretary of state?” Priebus asks.

22. “I am thinking,” you say, after a long pause, “phone.”

23. The phone rings. Mitt Romney! You are saved, kind of. Eegh, Mitt Romney. Maybe Kellyanne Conway can go on TV and say this is a bad idea.

24. “How about national security adviser?” Priebus asks.

25. That’s not on this list at all. That sounds made-up. You are out of words. “Flin,” you say, after a long pause. Oh no, that’s not a word at all!

26. “Mike Flynn?” Priebus asks.

27. “Yes,” you say quickly. “Of course. Him.”

28. “Are there other surprise people I do not know whom I will need?” you ask President Obama, when he next calls.

29. “Surprise people?” Obama asks. He sounds a little stunned. “You mean important presidential appointments who don’t come up when you Google ‘Cabinet,’ like the U.N. ambassador or CIA director?” If you paid attention to these things, you would detect a certain strain in his voice. “You didn’t just Google this, did you?”

30. “Of course not,” you say, grumpily. You write those down in Sharpie and hang up.

31. This is very stressful. You have earned a taco bowl. While you wait for it, write down the names of every person you have ever met, organized from Most Rich to Least Rich.

32. Draw lines connecting them to your list of jobs at random. Hooray, Betsy DeVos is now education secretary! Wilbur Ross can be commerce secretary! This is like a crossword puzzle, but much easier.

33. Treasury. You know you promised the American people something about the Treasury and Goldman Sachs, but you can’t remember what.

34. Just in case, appoint a former Goldman Sachs executive secretary of the treasury. Okay, great. Progress.

35. See? You can do this. You can do anything. All you have to do is believe. That is how you were elected president. You should remember that.

36. Your taco bowl arrives.

37. As you eat, some of it spills on the name “James Mattis.” Smile ear to ear.

38. This will not be so hard after all.