Obama to announce appointees at EPA, OMB, Energy

posted at 11:21 am on March 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama will soon announce two more appointments to his second-term team — neither of them Cabinet-level appointments, but both significant in addressing Obama’s second-term agenda, and perceived diversity deficiencies.  First, the White House floated last night the name of the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, who will be the point person on Capitol Hill for the upcoming budget fights.  Obama has chosen Wal-Mart executive Sylvia Matthews Burwell to lead that fight:

The 47-year-old Burwell is a Washington veteran, having served as OMB’s deputy director in the Clinton administration and chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. She currently runs the Walmart Foundation, the retail giant’s philanthropic wing, and previously served as president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program.

“Burwell’s deep knowledge of budget and economic issues along with her record of fighting for working Americans make her the perfect choice to lead the OMB at this important time,” a White House official told CBS News.

Burwell’s nomination signals that the White House is trying to get back to normal business after the president and Congress failed to avert $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday. While the president has warned of dire consequences for the economy as a result of the cuts, the White House does not want the standoff with Congress to keep the president from focusing on other second-term priorities, including filling out his Cabinet and pursuing stricter gun laws and an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.

Obama made quick work of filling key national security openings in his administration, but has been slower to makes appointments for other Cabinet openings, including the OMB post. Vacancies also remain at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Commerce and Energy Departments, and the U.S. trade representative.

The selection of a Wal-Mart executive, even one that spent her time running the charitable effort of the retailer, may ruffle a few feathers in Obama’s base.  Wal-Mart is a villain in their melodramas, an exploiter of the poor and working class.  Burwell’s appointment will lift the public profile of their philanthropy, at least momentarily, and will lend further legitimacy to the overall corporation at a time when Obama is pushing a minimum-wage hike, in a bit of a mixed message.  However, the selection also gives Obama some desperately-needed private-sector credibility within his administration, and it addresses a certain gender gap that appeared in Cabinet-level appointments in the second term.

The promotion of Gina McCarthy to succeed Lisa Jackson as EPA administrator also accomplishes both tasks, albeit a bit more subtly in the case of the private sector.  McCarthy pushed the EPA’s regulatory adventurism, but built better ties to private industry than Jackson managed to do, according to the Washington Post’s Janet Eilperin:

On Monday, President Obama will nominate Gina McCarthy, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency’s air and radiation office, as the agency’s next administrator, and MIT professor Ernest Moniz as energy secretary, according to a White House official.
McCarthy helped usher through many of the EPA’s most contentious rules during Obama’s first term, including regulations curbing mercury and soot emissions from power plants. But she has also cultivated a strong working relationship with members of the business community, dampening much of the opposition her selection might otherwise have encountered. …

In March 2009, public health advocates S. William Becker and Frank O’Donnell were walking the halls of the EPA when they spotted McCarthy poring over briefing books. She was preparing for her Senate confirmation hearing as head of the agency’s air and radiation office, and she was intent on defusing any controversy surrounding global warming.

“I know greenhouse gases are important, but I’m committed to strengthening public health protections,” she told them.
It was an early indication of how the politically savvy McCarthy was prepared to get her way in Washington. A veteran of Republican administrations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, she has devoted much of the past four years to shepherding through air regulations that have protected public health — but that also have helped shutter power plants emitting greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

Interestingly, the only Cabinet-level appointment among the three is Moniz at Energy, replacing Stephen Chu as Secretary.  Moniz worked in the Clinton administration and comes to this appointment after running MIT’s Energy Initiative, which gives him solid credentials for his new assignment. None of the three are likely to run into major problems in confirmation hearings, although McCarthy will get lots of questions about the EPA’s runaway regulatory push, especially from Senator Jim Inhofe.

It’s interesting, though, that his appointment seems to be reported as almost an afterthought to McCarthy’s in the Post’s article despite the fact that Moniz will take a Cabinet position while McCarthy won’t.  It seems as though the administration wanted to bookend the appointment of another male to the Cabinet with the announcement of two women into important but non-Cabinet roles.  They may still feel a bit bruised over the avalanche of criticism about the all-male national-security team Obama put in place, especially when Michelle Flournoy was available and arguably much more qualified at Defense.


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Pretty funny how she looks like Christopher Hayes especially when their two pictures are side by side like what’s on the front page right now.

bsinc1962 on March 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Moniz worked in the Clinton administration and comes to this appointment after running MIT’s Energy Initiative, which gives him solid credentials for his new assignment.

How so?

I know people that change batteries in their TV changers regularly. Using your logic – wouldn;t THAT “gives them solid credentials for this assignment”?

williamg on March 4, 2013 at 11:27 AM

The WalMart Foundation is not about capitalism and this pick won’t earn Obama any points from us dirty private sector employers. From another group? ….Perhaps.

LASue on March 4, 2013 at 11:31 AM

So that is a she? LOL Couldve fooled me.

bucsox79 on March 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

So that is a she? LOL Couldve fooled me

Yup, Big Sis’ twin brother.

GreatCommunicator on March 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Yay, more sensible shoes.

Cindy Munford on March 4, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Does Obama even know any attractive intelligent successful women? How many Paul Blart imitations and Rachael Maddow wanna be’s are there???

SDarchitect on March 4, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Time for a new prescription.

I thought that was Tom Coburn!

can_con on March 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

First, the White House floated last night the name of the new director of the Office of Management and Budget,

I assume this person will collect no pay nor work since there is no budget.

JPeterman on March 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Just a tad severe-looking, huh?

kingsjester on March 4, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Yikes! Can’t say what I would like to say about this Woman since I’m a Christian and all….

sandee on March 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Does Obama even know any attractive intelligent successful women? How many Paul Blart imitations and Rachael Maddow wanna be’s are there???

SDarchitect on March 4, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Would the Mooch tolerate an attractive, successful woman next to her dickless wonder?

Archivarix on March 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Pretty funny how she looks like Christopher Hayes especially when their two pictures are side by side like what’s on the front page right now.

bsinc1962 on March 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

They all look alike to me.

Same hair do, same glasses, same clueless gaze.

Stu Gotts on March 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Why is it that most of Obama’s “women” seem to have the same look. Fom the Lena Dunham chick, to Sandra Fluke, to Rachel Maddow, Janet Napalitano. And, now, Sylvia Burwell. He certainly does have a type.

sydneyjane on March 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

McCarthy pushed the EPA’s regulatory adventurism, but built better ties to private industry than Jackson managed to do

But what kind of ties was Richard Windsor able to establish?

These announcements are pretty meh. Just a bunch of clowns willing to do the rat-eared wonder’s bidding in destroying this nation. Not one of them cares about a better nation or society.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I wonder what name McCarthy will take as an email alias?

Stu Gotts on March 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

She will find a kindred soul in Governor Moonbeam. He went to the governors’ conclave and asked the rest of the states to join him in his eco-wacky jihad.

Moonbeam Asks Govs to Join Him

PattyJ on March 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Didn’t I already read that she (McCarthy) was alreay part of the whole e-mail scheme?

D-fusit on March 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

So that is a she? LOL Couldve fooled me.

bucsox79 on March 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Yikes! Can’t say what I would like to say about this Woman since I’m a Christian and all….

sandee on March 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Diagonal cutters.

davidk on March 4, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Obysmal adds candidates from the Butch Brigade in order to satisfy the whining of the feminazis. Doesn’t Preezy have better binders full of women?

Burwell’s credentials are firmly rooted with Leftist connections and personnel.

Moniz is merely a figurehead. The damage is being done by the behind-the-scenes green warriors from EPA, people like McCarthy.

onlineanalyst on March 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Who’s that guy on the main page picture? Looks like Carville with hair.

CycloneCDB on March 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Same hair do, same glasses, same clueless gaze.

Non only does Barry have to assuage his ego by having those he chooses exude less intelligence than he, but be visibly less attractive too, especially women.

““They laugh alike, they walk alike, most times they even talk alike. You can lose your mind … when Leftists are one of a kind!”

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

McCarthy received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University.

Oh, goody. A fully indoctrinated Enviro-Marxist.

RadClown on March 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Didn’t I already read that she (McCarthy) was alreay part of the whole e-mail scheme?

D-fusit on March 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Does it really matter at this point?

McCarthy was the commie behind all those killer coal laws. It is clear the rat-eared dictator wants to kill cheap energy and he’s found just the whore to do it.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM

This seat was bought and paid for by Sam R. Walton, a left wing environmental loon.

pat on March 4, 2013 at 12:01 PM

I wonder which bathroom “she” will be using when in Massachusetts?

tommyboy on March 4, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Gina McCarthy and Bob Menendez … Separated at birth?

Pork-Chop on March 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Oh, goody. A fully indoctrinated Enviro-Marxist.

We expected nothing less.

I wonder which bathroom “she” will be using when in Massachusetts?

Whichever she fancies. I guess my travelin’ days to Mass are over for good. Political insanity runs rampant there. It’s bad enough where I live in the land of Fruit, Nuts, and Flakes, i.e. California.

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Newt’s makeover turned out well.

hillsoftx on March 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Wal-Mart is a villain in their melodramas, an exploiter of the poor and working class.

Reality:

Wal-Mart is an employer of the poor and working class.

The world’s biggest employer of the poor and working class.

itsnotaboutme on March 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Newt’s makeover turned out well.

hillsoftx on March 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

THREAD WINNER

ToddPA on March 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Who’s that guy on the main page picture? Looks like Carville with hair.

CycloneCDB on March 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Rube, you haven’t gotten the notice – the entire world is now either black, or gay, or both. Obama is both.

The guy in the picture makes Newt look good.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Wal-Mart is a villain in their melodramas, an exploiter of the poor and working class. Burwell’s appointment will lift the public profile of their philanthropy, at least momentarily, and will lend further legitimacy to the overall corporation

The utter hypocritical bastids hate the company, except for when Hillary makes it rich inside, they collect voting signatures inside, or the son of the old man (who dies again in his grave) supports Obama.

May all the hypocrites spontaneously combust, you swine.

p.s. sincere apologies to the clean pigs.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Obama is sure surrounded by gender-ambiguous “its”.

Is this deep-voice JANET NAPOLITANO’s lesbian lover?

wildcat72 on March 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I wonder what name McCarthy will take as an email alias?

Stu Gotts on March 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

pat@gmail.com?

wildcat72 on March 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Looked like Al Franken to me.

EEprom on March 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Why don’t they just skip the formalities. Henceforth, all obama administration staff will be known as Pat.

It’s just Pat

http://youtu.be/VwT1kp0C3Ss

can_con on March 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

wildcat72 on March 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Finding the link as you were typing!

can_con on March 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Is that pronounced Geena or Jina…Crimony! lookit that mug!

royzer on March 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

It’s Rachel Maddow…in about 8 years.

royzer on March 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Carpet munch much.

royzer on March 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Thank goodness and the EPA we are free of the scourge of mercury thermomenters!!

However, we do have mercury CFLs, so what’s the diff?

PattyJ on March 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Thanks to EPA, food producers can expect problems from the Animal Rights Groups.

News2Use on March 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Missed some quotes:

“It is beyond comprehension to me that with threats to my family from harassment atop bio-security concerns, that EPA would gather this information only to release it to these groups. This information details my family’s home address and geographic coordinates. The only thing it doesn’t do is chauffeur these extremists to my house. For some operations, even telephone numbers and deceased relatives are listed.”

Beef producers and even the Department of Homeland Security expressed concerns this was a serious overreach of EPA’s authority and would create a road map for activists to harass individual families. They also said the proposal would aid and abet terrorism and provide a very real threat to the nation’s food security.

News2Use on March 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

That’s a man, baby!

- Austin Powers

connertown on March 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Looked like Al Franken to me.

EEprom on March 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Me, too.

Fallon on March 4, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Yuk.

avagreen on March 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Curious people want to know, Schick or Gillett?
Cause that’s one clean shave.

Missilengr on March 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Probably part of the deal was to “stick it to WalMart” now that she is out of there. That should calm the obots from their initial shock.

virgo on March 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM