Commentary Magazine


Besting His Predecessor Alright

The latest Obama nominee is a show-stopper. We learn:

The White House told urban czar Adolfo Carrión on Wednesday to pay the architect who did work on his Bronx home more than two years ago.

The Daily News reported that Carrión, the former Bronx borough president who is now the White House urban policy director, had the architect draw up renovations in early 2007. That work came as Carrión’s office was reviewing the architect’s plan for a housing project. Carrión still hasn’t paid for the work, raising questions about whether it was a freebie done to win approval of the project.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson’s office confirmed Wednesday night it was looking into the matter.

Oh and then the office of Obama’s Chief Technology Officer was just raided by the FBI. Really.

A Treasury Secretary who doesn’t pay his taxes. An urban czar who doesn’t pay his architect. An ethics policy full of waivers too numerous to count — and which couldn’t be counted since they are concealed from the public. At what point does the electorate conclude the New Politics is really the Chicago Way? No wonder the White House wants to talk about Rush Limbaugh.

But it’s not like we were not warned. We know Obama has never paid sufficient attention to his associates’ “shortcomings.” Perhaps voters thought he’d improve his hiring skills once in the Oval Office or place greater weight on the ethical standards of his underlings. He hasn’t. The time has come, I think, to dispense with the notion that George Bush and Jimmy Carter were the worst executive managers to occupy the White House.