In the last eight years as the attorney general of Florida, Pam Bondi went out of her way to pursue an anti-LGBTQ agenda. Her primary focus was on stopping the inevitable march toward marriage equality, losing appeal after appeal in an attempt to appease her conservative followers. The lowest point of Bondi’s tenure came after the Pulse nightclub massacre. Bondi tried to claim that she was a champion for gay people, only to have Anderson Cooper eviscerate her on live television.
So it comes as no surprise that the Trump administration is considering Bondi for a high-profile job: heading up the communications strategy for impeachment.
Bondi has several traits that show she’ll fit in perfectly inside the Trump universe. For one, she was once a Fox News contributor, so she is well-versed in how to work conservative-friendly media channels (and doing terrible on CNN and actual news channels). For a president who rates people’s qualifications largely on their television performance, that’s a big plus.
She served 8 years under the terrible leadership of Gov. Rick Scott, who excluded LGBTQ people from protection of discrimination laws and intentionally refused federal funds to combat HIV. Scott’s now taken his terrible talents to the United States Senate.
In addition, Bondi has already done Trump a big favor in the past, in his trademark kind of shady deal. During the Trump University controversy in 2013, Bondi’s office received multiple complaints from defrauded customers. Her spokesperson said that Florida was considering joining a lawsuit filed against Trump in New York.
Just days later, Bondi’s political action committee received a $25,000 donation from Trump’s foundation, at which point Bondi decided not to pursue legal charges against Trump. It later came out that Bondi also personally asked Trump for a donation.
The donation from the foundation was later found to be illegal, and Trump was fined. Needless to say, Bondi endorsed Trump early in 2016, and in turn he has been lavish in his praise for her.
Bondi’s relationship with the Church of Scientology, which has historically based much of its operations in the state of Florida (and who also has history with Trump), has also been scrutinized.
Bondi’s name has been floated for other administration jobs before, most notably last year to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Despite her sterling anti-LGBTQ credentials, religious right leaders still didn’t believe she was bigoted enough for their comfort. In particular, they cited her for being insufficiently vicious – and very late – in starting her fight against marriage equality, which is pretty rich for a woman who said that it would cause “significant public harm.”
Beggars can’t be choosers, though. At this point, taking on the thankless task of communicating for a president who keeps undercutting his own story would appeal only to a certain sub-species of Trump believer. Appropriately, the other candidate under consideration for the job, Tony Sayegh, is a former Treasury spokesman who helped create ads for Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Bondi’s re-emergence would prove that the worst parts of the GOP never fade away. They just end up with jobs in the Trump administration.