So last night, the NYT ran a sensational story about how Rick Perry, Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, doesn’t know what the Energy Department does. According to them, he thought it mostly promoted fossil fuels or whatever and didn’t understand that much of their authority centers around regulating and maintaining our nuclear arsenal. Social media jumped all over it, liberals wrung their hands while others pointed out that this claim seems thinly sourced.
Oh, yeah … it was total bullshit:
The New York Times interpreted a quote from a former Trump transition official to mean that Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of energy, didn’t fully grasp the role of the Department of Energy.
That former transition official, Michael McKenna, told The Daily Caller Wednesday that the Times misinterpreted him and Perry “of course” understood that a key role of the Department of Energy is caring for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
In fact, you can go back to Perry’s acceptance of the nomination to find him talking about the nuclear arsenal. And, back in 2012, his campaign platform talked about closing the Department of Energy … while moving its control of the nuclear stockpile to the Department of Defense. So, yes, Rick Perry knew what the job entailed. He almost certainly knew it better than most of the people currently mocking him.
This building hysteria is becoming a problem with Trump’s cabinet nominees. I can certainly see why people don’t like some of them. I don’t like Sessions. I think Tillerson was out of his depth. And while I’m open-minded on DeVos, she badly flubbed some questions. But this is getting ridiculous. Perry at Energy is actually one of the less alarming appointments. Perry was a successful governor of Texas. His Presidential campaign floundered, I think, because he didn’t really want the job. He always crossed me as the sort of Republican I grew up with: somewhat bumbling, vaguely competent; the kind of guy who wants to get the job done as expeditiously as possible so he can get back to the golf course or his mistress (or both). Save your ammo guys. There are away more alarming people in this Administration than James Richard Perry.
We’ll see how the hearing goes, but the NYT’s report is garbage.