22 November 2008

On Whining About the Obama Vetting Process

People are complaining that Obama’s vetting process is too tough? Too bad.

Yes, it’s been the most rigorous cabinet compilation in history. In addition to the requisite FBI background check, Obama’s people are, “requiring prospective candidates to complete a seven-page questionnaire that requires the disclosure of nearly every last private detail. In addition to the obvious questions involving past criminal history, candidates are asked about personal diaries, past blog posts, and the financial entanglements of extended family members” (CNN).

Yes, it’s rather invasive (as David Gergen asserts), but it’s also wise. We’re talking about government employees and it’s wise to discover any questionable material prior to giving them a high profile job. Any financial conflicts of interest? Is the professional history complete and credible? Any predilection for abusing official powers for sex or money? Any history of exploiting immigrant labor? Any habits of visiting prostitutes or posting on Craig's List? Better to find out now rather than later--perhaps in the headlines of a national broadsheet or the front page of the Drudge Report.

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