Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I think I would include Mike Johanns in this group...

It's way too soon to tell how the race will turn out, but former Ag Sec. Johanns could be one of the group of Bush administration officials whose reputation has been diminished by working for the President.
"I'm very discouraged, as most Americans are, with Congress and our leadership not getting things done while other nations are making a lot of progress," said Raimondo.

Raimondo says job creation and revamping health care would be his priorities.

He says because of Mike Johanns close ties to President Bush, he wants to give Nebraskans a choice in next year's race. [More]
This is not to say Johanns won't win, but comments from farm leaders were tepid at best in support when he announced. While I admire his loyal and determined effort to institute reform into the farm program as doubtless instructed by the White House, I suspect he will be sold out in the end by a presidential signature after tax increases are dodged with more borrowing.

Next example: the scariest Cabinet officer of all: Sec. of Treasury Henry Paulson
Paulson, who stepped down as chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to become President George W. Bush's Treasury secretary, may fall victim to the same jinx that has tarnished previous administration luminaries. Colin Powell, Paul O'Neill, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney all had their standing diminished by serving under Bush.

Every presidency produces political stars: Robert Rubin under Bill Clinton; James Baker and George Shultz under George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Even Richard Nixon, forced from office by scandal, had Henry Kissinger and Peter G. Peterson, the Commerce secretary who went on to co-found Blackstone Group LP.

By contrast, ``I can't think of anybody who has emerged from this White House with an enhanced reputation,'' said Bruce Bartlett, who served as a Treasury Department economist under the first President Bush and a policy aide under Reagan. ``But I can certainly think of lots of people who must rue the day they accepted an appointment in this administration.''

Eighteen months after coming to Washington, Paulson, 61, finds himself fending off an economic storm that includes a squeeze in credit markets, a wave of defaults by subprime borrowers and the growing threat of a downturn. [More]
Of course, it could be that these public servants are simply reaping the rewards of their own bad choices or luck, but they sure looked like capable people going in. But if they are merely incompetent or ineffective, why were they chosen?

True leadership has a characteristic of bringing out the best in those around them. That does not seem to be the case for this administration.

Can you think of an example of someone leaving this administration with an enhanced professional reputation?

Wait - Thought of one - Atty. General Ashcroft, who tried to protect our civil liberties from his hospital bed. And I thought little of him at the beginning.

No comments: