The Washington Post serves up a must read article outlining the results of the GOP efforts,
Twenty-four-year-old Jay Hallen was restless. He had graduated from Yale two years earlier, and he didn't much like his job at a commercial real-estate firm. His passion was the Middle East, and although he had never been there, he was intrigued enough to take Arabic classes and read histories of the region in his spare time.
He had mixed feelings about the war in Iraq, but he viewed the American occupation as a ripe opportunity. In the summer of 2003, he sent an e-mail to Reuben Jeffrey III, whom he had met when applying for a White House job a year earlier. Hallen had a simple query for Jeffrey, who was working as an adviser to Bremer: Might there be any job openings in Baghdad?
"Be careful what you wish for," Jeffrey wrote in response. Then he forwarded Hallen's resume to O'Beirne's office.
Three weeks later, Hallen got a call from the Pentagon. The CPA wanted him in Baghdad. Pronto. Could he be ready in three to four weeks?
The day he arrived in Baghdad, he met with Thomas C. Foley, the CPA official in charge of privatizing state-owned enterprises. (Foley, a major Republican Party donor, went to Harvard Business School with President Bush.) Hallen was shocked to learn that Foley wanted him to take charge of reopening the stock exchange.
"Are you sure?" Hallen said to Foley. "I don't have a finance background."
There’s more of the same in the rest of the article and we know post-Katrina, post HUD, well this isn’t an administration that takes care to actually govern now doesn’t it? Those on the left rightfully decry this rampant product of cronyism, until that is when one looks to the recent scion of Connecticut liberal idolatry, Ned Lamont.
There is nothing in Lamont’s background to suggest that he has the capabilities to rise above sub-mediocrity and become more than a just another crony, mixing who-you-know-connections over practical experience and meritocracy. Ned’s world is the mix of social privilege established by his lineage, which itself is not the issue. It's whether one merits advancement into positions based on capability and execution versus who you know. And, admittedly a little of both is not a bad thing.
In looking at candidate Ned Lamont it is clear that has been handed assets and connections with no great results. Ned’s cable company is neither a tech innovator nor a leader in the cable industry. It hasn't even grown to a scale that someone with his background should have been able to attain. Sure the counter argument could be that he was just not cut out for the hard driving tech business world. But on these business merits alone, its enough to wonder what are his capabilities. Then there's his political expereince. His first attempt at politics only led him to resign from the Greenwich DTC because "he got tired of reading a bunch of resolutions passed by the DTC that I don't always agree with."
There was a time that political parties strove to get the best and the brightest to run for office. It seems that fealty to ideology has replaced that noble pursuit. Neither side should tolerate it.
Washington Post, Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq Rajiv Chandrasekaran, September 17, 2006.
Kansas City Star Politics at play in HUD deals
An internal review says the housing secretary discouraged giving contracts to Democrats. TODD J. GILLMAN Friday Sept. 21, 2006.