I don't get what this article is trying to accomplish. Does the author think that it is some sort of "story" that potential candidates for Presidential appointments are discussed early on, before the election? Is this supposed to be an exposé of some sort?
There are more than a thousand people appointed by, and working for, the President of the United States.
If some motherfucker is running for office, and doesn't have a list of potential candidates already drawn up, their first six months in office are going to be completely ineffectual. People need to be chosen, plans and proposals need to be drawn up, and the full team needs to hit the ground running on January 20th, if they want to accomplish anything in the all-important "First 100 Days."
I mean, shit... The West Wing got this right almost 20 years ago... and this writer thinks that they have come upon some sort of conspiratorial coverup?