The Trump administration has a lot of strong individuals, shaping policy as well as executing it. Quoting,
One senior White House official argued the pick shows that Trump “wants a consensus builder, not a showboater” in the role, suggesting O’Brien will cut a lower profile and work better with others in the administration than John Bolton did.
In the past, the people who made marks in the job were of the individual mold. Kissinger’s public personality overlaps a little with John Bolton’s; both are strong-willed individuals who concentrated power in their hands. What this comparison omits is Kissinger’s superiority of intellect. Kissinger wrote the textbook on diplomacy that is used to teach the subject. But Brzezinski’s intellect approached Kissinger’s, and he was a smooth operator.
Good and not so good, Kissinger, Brzezinski, and Bolton have one thing in common: they spent their lives preparing for the job. Two got it right, one got it wrong. Robert O’Brien comes into the job with the knowledge typical of presidents, not specialists.
For O’Brien-the-collegial-conciliator to shine, he needs to connect with and surround himself by individuals who have that special focus. Some may lack O’Brien’s easy social graces, or the ability to lead and empower a group as O’Brien might. Others may have isolated ideas of spectacular import, yet unable to promote. This is Robert O’Brien’s new garden.
Mr. O’Brien, start tilling. Grow us some roses.