Who Needs a Commerce Secretary?
I don't begrudge the Washington Post one bit for putting on page A1 the news of New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg's nom-withdrawal for the post of Secretary of Commerce. I mean, that's the big story of the moment.
But really, who really needs a Commerce Secretary, anyway? Isn't that one spot, folks, where we could achieve some efficiencies?
Quick: What was the most significant accomplishment of Commerce Secretary....Donald Evans...or...Mickey Kantor...or...Philip Klutznick? Yeah, name one! Better yet, name an achievement–any achievement–of any Commerce Secretary in the entire history of the position. And no, leading a trade delegation to Paris and Nice doesn't qualify.
Isn't there someone in the Commerce bureaucracy at this point who could step up as secretary? How 'bout whoever's, like, heading up the International Trade Administration–we need our trade partners more than ever! Or, given our current financial straits, perhaps there's an expert in the Economic Development Administration (EDA) who can step up big-time for the president. If nothing else, we need economic development in this country.
If the job of Commerce Secretary requires writing skills, surely the administration can tap the GSer who wrote this bit of copy on the front of the department's Web site this afternoon:
In response to suggestions from stakeholders in the intellectual property (IP) community that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) adopt a new form of deferred examination procedure, the agency will conduct a public roundtable discussion on the topic on February 12 at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
We need a new Commerce Secretary who'll respond to the stakeholders. So why not hire within?