Jonah, this just in from a reader, who, commenting on the off-the-record encounters that you and I had with Paul O’Neill, makes a point about the man that I have, ahem, a little trouble answering. You?
Considering it was obvious to all shortly after [Paul O’Neill] was appointed that he was
a disastrous choice, and that this was more fully obvious to those who
actually met the man, can you think of any reason why this episode does not
cast serious doubts upon the President’s ability to choose a leadership team
in the domestic sphere? Granted, his foreign policy team is excellent, but
the domestic sphere is a different beast altogether. I think we
conservatives are letting the President off a little too lightly on this
one; would our reaction to this have been the same had Clinton picked such
an obvious dolt to run one of the big executive departments? I don’t care
for Rubin much, but, damn, at least he was a serious Treas. leader.