Friday, February 13, 2009

NYT: White House Appointments Creating "Personnel Crisis"

Yesterday, the New York Times said, in an article about Sen. Judd Gregg's withdrawal from the commerce secretary nomination, that the White House is suffering political fallout over a string of appointees who have stepped aside over vetting problems, unpaid taxes or philosophical differences with Mr. Obama. Since the president took office last month, not a week has passed without the White House responding to a personnel crisis.
The departure of Mr. Gregg is the latest setback to a White House that has struggled to fill several top positions and to fulfill Mr. Obama’s pledge of building a bipartisan administration. He is the third prospective cabinet secretary -- the second for the Commerce Department -- to remove his name from consideration.
Sen. Gregg said he alerted Mr. Obama to his decision "several days ago," but administration officials said the senator’s withdrawal had taken them off guard.
The White House sought to contain the political fallout, issuing a terse statement and pointing out that Mr. Gregg had said he would “support, embrace and move forward with the president’s agenda.”
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, a West Virginia Democrat who is the chairman of the Commerce Committee, said he wished that Gregg had "thought through the implications of his nomination more thoroughly before accepting this post." However, this is the same type of political tilt-logic that expects congress to vote on a potential $1 trillion stimulus bill without taking time to examine what's in the package.

The administration, however, did fill two positions this week. Recent lobbyist and defense contractor Raytheon exec. William J Lynn, III, was confirmed to fill the Pentagon's number two position, and Leon E. Panetta was confirmed by the Senate to run the Central Intelligence Agency.

Read it.

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