Mike Petrilli is all bent out shape that the administration is not going to send John King to the Hill for a formal confirmation process but instead leave him running the Department of Education in an acting capacity.
I don’t know exactly what I think about this, but I do think Mike’s being transparently political. And I guess I must have taken the day off to fish when Mike took Senate Republicans to task for not moving nominations along…I had no idea he was so concerned about the confirmation issue! Good people have passed on jobs or left the administration over the broken confirmation process and I regret taking time off when Mike jumped all over his Senate Republican friends about that (or even the Democrats for that matter).
In this King* instance, while it would be terrific if the process worked like it’s supposed to (and I tend to be one who thinks that respecting the process rather than constantly testing it is a virtue in a governmental system like ours) isn’t it a point in the administration’s favor that they’re at least being transparent about their intentions? The Washington way to do this, which would leave Petrilli with nothing to write about, would be to announce an intent to nominate and then slow walk it for the reminder of the administration. Duncan’s not leaving for a while anyway so it would at most be an 11 month walk. Then you look like you’re respecting the process while you’re actually subverting it.
Instead, rather than play games the President seems to be acknowledging what everyone (including January Mike Petrilli) already gets – the confirmation process is a trainwreck right now. I guess at least give them some credit for candor and for focusing energy on things that matter. Because at no American dinner table, ever, did the confirmation status of a federal education official come up before things like, “what did you do at school today…?” if it ever came up at all.
*Standing disclosure: His wife works at Bellwether. She’s great, someone should nominate her for something.