Last night’s AEI dinner had far fewer security details than it did when Republicans were in charge, but I noticed one accompanying the current secretary of Health and Human Services.
What’s that you say? Governor Sebelius hasn’t been confirmed?
True, but the detail was protecting Charlie Johnson, a Bush appointee who has been serving as HHS Acting secretary for almost two months. Charlie, er, Secretary Johnson, is a great public servant, and one of former Secretary Leavitt’s best friends. When we worked together, he was serving as the HHS assistant secretary for resources and technology, where he worked tirelessly to promote responsible budgeting (he’s an accountant by training) and to protect our nation against bioterror threats. I suppose he’ll have to vacate his perch and give up his detail when or if Governor Sebelius is confirmed, but the Obama administration could do far worse than just sticking with Charlie.
— Tevi Troy is the former deputy secretary of health and human services, and author of Intellectuals and the American Presidency.