Those who believe that elections are rigged might perceive a smoking gun in the news that Hillary Clinton just filed paperwork to transfer power from the Obama administration to her own. On its face, it seems like that's maybe a little premature, given that we're weeks away from the actual election — but this is actually how it's supposed to work, and in fact Trump's transition team has been formulating plans of their own.
In general, the minutia of their work will be uniformly dull — staffing decisions, budgetary meetings, tough questions about which drapes should stay and which should go. But knowing that the transition process has begun for both campaigns certainly does inspire the imagination: what if Hillary's team got carried away and simply moved her into the White House in mid-October? What if Trump's team all got locked in the office bathroom? What if Obama was like, "you know, what, never mind, you guys all suck," and decided to dig in for the long haul like an Oregon militia?
Alas, none of these fantasies are likely (although if the bathroom thing did happen I don't think any of us would be surprised). But gee whiz, the Hillary folks sure do seem a lot more organized and confident than the Trump team. That's encouraging; but as a great curmudgeon once said, don't get cocky, kid.
What sad sack drew the short straw of leading Trump's transition team, you might ask? Well, that would be none other than Chris Christie. (Yeah yeah, I know, hahahaha, etc.) He's an odd choice for the job, given that all the political rumor-mongering suggests that he's still pissed about not getting the VP nod, and lately he's been openly critical of Trump. If Christie is indeed doing any transition prep, it's probably making sure that all of the chairs in Mike Pence's office have one slightly shorter leg so they all wobble.
Over on the Clinton side, they've actually founded a nonprofit organization to guide the transition. The head of that nonprofit is John Podesta, who's also the chair of Clinton's campaign and has orbited the family like a satellite for years.
As part of the transition ramp-up, both campaigns are now invited to attend intelligence briefings. There's probably nothing in those briefings that will come as a surprise to Secretary Clinton, but oh Jesus I sure am troubled by the thought of top-secret dossiers making their way to Donald Trump. Do you think they're giving him actual intel, or just printouts of Wikipedia entries and then slipping the real briefings to the Clinton campaign when Chris Christie isn't looking?
After all, this is a guy Obama just declared "unfit" to be president. If Trump's really insane — and I think we can agree that he is — it would be nuts to hand national secrets over to him. But then again Hillary's email server wasn't exactly a model for data security.
So hey, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, maybe let's ease into those classified briefings. First, just show the campaigns some new carpet swatches and see if they can be trusted with those.