Obama has folks whining about how hard it is to get appointees vetted and through the grueling process of having 60 fawning Senators rubber-stamp them.
Of more than 500 senior policymaking positions requiring Senate confirmation, just 43 percent have been filled — a reflection of a White House that grew more cautious after several nominations blew up last spring, a Senate that is intensively investigating nominees and a legislative agenda that has consumed both.
While career employees fill many posts on an acting basis, Mr. Obama does not have his own people enacting programs central to his mission. He is trying to fix the financial markets but does not have an assistant treasury secretary for financial markets. He is spending more money on transportation than anyone since Dwight D. Eisenhower but does not have his own inspector general watching how the dollars are used. He is fighting two wars but does not have an Army secretary.
Mrs. Clinton expressed the exasperation of many in the administration last month when she was asked by A.I.D. employees why they did not have a chief. “The clearance and vetting process is a nightmare,” she told them. “And it takes far longer than any of us would want to see. It is frustrating beyond words.”
He doesn’t care about these positions – he just appoints czars left and right, bypassing Congress. Can you imagine the screaming coming out the Senate (not to mention from the NY Times et al) if Bush had said, “Screw you Harry Reid – I’m appointing Steven Bradbury as Atty Genl Czar and he will carry out the duties of the vacant AG assistant counsel’s position.”