Did Trump and McConnell agree to split the cabinet 50/50?
I was going down Wikipedia's list of Donald Trump cabinet appointments, and noticed something odd: six of them (James Mattis, Rick Perry, Elaine Chao, Tom Price, John Kelly, and Ryan Zinke) are more or less the kind of people you would expect to have serving in a Marco Rubio administration. Some technically endorsed Trump, but only after he'd wrapped up the nomination.
You don't have to like Mattis' hawkishness on Iran, or Price's desire to dismantle Obamacare, but if people like them were the entire cabinet, at least you could tell yourself, "at least this won't be any worse than Dubya's administration." The problem is they aren't the entire cabinet. Almost as many Trump appointees are completely off-the-wall:
1. Steven Mnuchin was the Trump campaign's finance chair. (Does Trump not realize running a political campaign's finances and a countries finances are rather different jobs?)
2. Jeff Sessions was too racist to get confirmed to a federal judgeship in the 80s, and his appointment looks a lot like a reward for being the first US Senator to endorse Trump.
3. Similarly, Ben Carson's appointment look like a reward for being so quick to endorse Trump after ending his own campaign, and for extra laughs Carson initially took himself out of the running for a cabinet post on the grounds that even he realized he was totally unqualified.
4. Ross is a longtime buddy of Trump's, who at one point in the 90's saved Trump's rear by persuading investors not to their money out of a failing Trump casino (this did not work out well for the investors).
5. Rex Tillerson has no personal ties to Trump that I'm aware of, but his ties to Russia are extensive and have done more to piss off members of Trump's own party than anyone else on this list.
There are a couple borderline cases—namely DeVos and Pudzer, who are ideologically fairly normal and not, as far as I've been able to find, Trump cronies, but also totally inexperienced. A random CEO like Pudzer getting appointed to Secretary of Commerce by Generic Republican President wouldn't shock me, but I doubt anyone but Trump (with his apparent belief that having lots of money is proof you're smarter than everyone else) would appoint DeVos to be fracking Secretary of Education, no matter how much money she's donated to pushing school vouchers.
The idea of Trump and McConnell explicitly agreeing to split the cabinet 50/50 is mostly a joke, but... Well, Trump is a weird dude, at this point I wouldn't be surprised to hear rumors Trump blurted out the suggestion at a private meeting, and McConnell mumbled a response that Trump took as agreement.
If Trump suddenly transformed into a normal Republican, I wouldn't totally relax. Washington is too full of people—Republican and Democrat—who are overly fond of wars in the Middle East. Washington is also too full of people—Republican and Democrat—who are happy to throw civil liberties out the window the minute somone says the word "terrorism." But the problems are made much worse when you throw in blatant racism, cronyism, incompetence, and ties to a brutal autocrat.