In an unexpected development that couldn’t come at a worse time for the crumbling Donald Trump administration, it’s about to suffer the ignominy of its first cabinet nomination failure. Andrew Puzder, the owner of Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s, whom Trump had tapped to be Secretary of Labor, is now withdrawing his name shortly after his confirmation process went from being fairly smooth to utterly disastrous.
The first sign of trouble for Puzder came when four republican Senators were revealed to be considering voting against him; only three republicans would have needed to join the Senate democrats in order to block his nomination. But then Oprah Winfrey got involved, sharing an old clip from her show with Senators, in which Puzder’s ex wife alleged spousal abuse. Then came unverifiable buzz that as many as a dozen republican Senators may have been preparing to vote against Puzder, suggesting the gig was up. And shortly after that came official word that he had decided to withdraw his name.
It’s not immediately clear what the tipping point was that caused Andrew Puzder’s nomination to fail. Was it the Oprah tape? Was it that this disastrous week for the Donald Trump administration, in which his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had to resign over the Russia scandal in calamitous fashion, has left an increasing number of Senate republicans unwilling to keep aligning themselves with a failing Trump? The endless phone calls to Senate offices from the public certainly helped. In any case, NBC News now says that Puzder is withdrawing. This is good news for the working class, as Puzder didn’t believe in a minimum wage.