04 January 2009

Way to vet, Obama!

In the first real debacle of the Obama transition, Governor Richardson has declined the nomination for Secretary of Commerce in order to defend himself from an investigation of an alleged pay-to-play deal in his state. Didn't he consider disclosing this before Obama nominated him? Weren't the people who presumably vet administration prospects see this coming? Or did they think they could let it slide when this administration was bound to be subject to the most intense scrutiny, if only for tit-for-tat reasons by vengeful Republicans and radio talkers? This news follows close upon an expose of a possible quid-pro-quo arrangement involving Senator Clinton and a donor to her husband's foundation. In that case, there may be no more than gratitude involved, but appearances matter, especially if Republicans insist on a hypocritical zero-tolerance principle. If these developments throw Obama's own judgment into question, he has only himself or the people surrounding him to blame. And if you say that people are blowing the ordinary processes of politics out of proportion, remember that we were promised change.

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