Saturday, December 06, 2008

Of Ballooning Debt and Trial Balloons

I've had a bit more time to mull over this week's rumor about Graham being considered for the Secretary of Education job (Here, here and here) and my best guess is that the rumor was a trial balloon set afloat by the person or persons that Graham was lobbying for the job. And my best guess about who that would be is Senator Casey.

Read Casey's denial carefully.
Casey, an early Obama supporter, said he expects to offer names for some political appointments in the new administration. He did not, however, recommend Spanier.“I did not,” Casey said. “He is a wonderful president. I know him well. I think he’s done a great job at Penn State. He’s brilliant. He’s a strong administrator.”
He denies that he recommended Graham, but he doesn't deny that he was the source for the rumor. Rendell, on the other hand, through his spokesman, claims not even to have heard the rumor which is essentially a denial of being the source of the rumor. Anyway, Casey was an early Obama supporter and Rendell supported Hillary in the primaries. Hence Casey would be the more likely person for Graham to lobby for the job.

Here's the scenario. Graham has decided that presidenting isn't fun anymore-what with the financial crisis, and Penn State's $1 billion debt load, a tight state budget, a football coach who won't retire and everything-and he wants to get out while the getting's good. No use, after all, of being in the house of cards when it collapses. SOE is just the ticket. So he pushes Casey to recommend him to Obama for the job. Casey floats the trial balloon to see how the public and others in the education community react. The reaction isn't good, so he doesn't make a recommendation and when asked he truthfully denies that he did so. But he adds some soothing words to assuage Graham's bruised ego.

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