Van Jones, the Obama green jobs czar who resigned shortly after midnight Sunday, did not fill out the exhaustive questionnaire White House officials required of every Cabinet-level secretary and deputy-secretary position.
An administration official said special advisers to the president, or czars, are not required to fill out the questionnaire that runs 7 pages and contains 63 questions.
The entire questionnaire, the official said, is reserved for appointees who must win Senate confirmation.
Among the varied topics covered in the questionnaire: history as a lobbyist or other “legislative agent”, tax liens, bankruptcies, spousal employment, potential conflicts of interest, domestic help, internet “handles” and Facebook pages, and traffic fines in excess of $50.
Question 61 reads as follows: “Have you had any association with any person, group or business venture that could be used – even unfairly – to impugn or attack your character and qualifications for government service?”
Well, isn’t that special.
I have absolutely no opinion whatever over whether Van Jones is good, bad, or indifferent but it is indisputable that he was embarrassing to the Obama Administration. Apparently, it’s okay to be embarrassing if you’re a special advisor.
Vetting only those who must be confirmed by the Senate is far too limited a view of the process. Any administration should want to get the people who are the most qualified which extends well past credentials and jobs held in the past to issues of temperament, past performance, and, yes, whether the appointment will be an embarrassment to the President.