Just As I Thought

The President is not a fact-checker

That quote from the White House press secretary is oh-so-true. And it often comes back to bite him in the ass–which is great fun for those of us who can’t stand this president.
Here’s the latest amusement from the White House: they’re in the process of creating an office to address manufacturing jobs (gee, too little, too late?). Who do you think they picked to head it? A guy who closed a plant in the U.S. then built a pricey new one in China. Fearing the inevitable campaign rhetoric to follow, they’ve suddenly gone quiet about the situation.

In late afternoon, the administration announced that the new assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services would be named at a ceremony this morning. Industry officials were told that the job would go to Anthony F. Raimondo, chairman and chief executive of a Nebraska company that makes metal buildings and grain silos.

But Kerry’s campaign, tipped off about the impending nomination several hours earlier, hastened to distribute news reports that Raimondo’s firm, Behlen Manufacturing Co. of Columbus, Neb., had laid off 75 U.S. workers in 2002, four months after announcing plans for a $3 million factory in northwest Beijing.

Seventy-five minutes after the administration announced a news conference with Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans to name the official, an advisory went out saying the event had been “postponed due to scheduling conflicts.”

By last night, three senior administration officials said Raimondo’s nomination might be scuttled but said they did not know for sure. Bush announced the new office with fanfare on Labor Day, and Democrats had been saying for weeks that the long delay in naming the new assistant secretary reflected the low priority that Bush puts on preserving jobs.

An aide close to Bush said last night the uncertainty about the nomination had “nothing to do with Senator Kerry or his baseless charges.” This aide, who thought the nomination would go forward, said the delay “more has to do with congressional notification issues and things like that than it does anything else.”

Of course the delay is because of Congress. They’re busy grilling baseball players.

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