McDonnell Yanks Sledd Appointment

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm only surprised this took so long.
Gov. Bob McDonnell made a last-minute switch in his cabinet line-up this morning.

The governor's office announced that Bob Sledd, McDonnell's controversial pick for secretary of commerce and trade, will instead serve as the governor's senior economic advisor. He will not receive a salary for the senior-level position.

Instead, Jim Cheng, who had been McDonnell's designee for deputy secretary of commerce and trade, was sworn in this morning as secretary of commerce and trade.

Sledd, a businessman who built Performance Food Group into a Fortune 500 company, was criticized for his refusal to step down from three corporate boards he serves on to serve in the governor's cabinet.
So, in the end, Bob McDonnell did the "right thing" here (actually, it wasn't really the right thing, as McDonnell simply gave Sledd the exact same authority in a position the Senate doesn't confirm - sneaky!!) only after it became clear that Sledd would not be confirmed by the Democratic-controlled state Senate. Apparently, it was too much to hope that McDonnell would simply do what was right in this case. The question is, will this pattern continue in the McDonnell administration, where really bad stuff is stopped - or slickly sidestepped, as in this case - only because of intense pressure and lots of adverse publicity. If that's McDonnell's intent, he's making a big mistake, but time will tell...