Monday, January 05, 2009

Is Chu the Guy for Energy?

Like a bear emerging from hibernation, we're back from the holidaze (easily 5 lbs. heavier-- add one more resolution to the list).

The bloggers at Hillbuzz turn their rapier rhetoric on Steven Chu, the Energy Secretary designate. In a rather blunt segue from Meg Whitman's gubernatorial prospects, they speculate that Arnold would have made a better choice for Energy, because Chu is an academic and a nice guy, not a hardened manager.

They argue-- and it's tough to disagree-- that huge pile of money that will be managed by the Energy Secretary-- and the nefarious group of supplicants who will line up for a piece of it-- requires something akin to a warden, not an astrophyscist. But they are more eloquent than we could ever be:

"Schwarzenegger, or even better still, Ed Rendell, is what’s needed at Energy. We just don’t believe Chu will cut it, and are afraid of how Energy’s share of the trillion in infrastructure spending will be managed with a brilliant physicist at the helm — who is certainly smart and by all accounts a very nice man, but very smart and very nice in the same mold as all of the academics and professors we’ve known in our lives.

Physics won’t hold union leaders or corrupt local politicians by the ankles and shake them silly until they let go of the loot they dream of snagging from that enormous spending bill Obama’s promised to sign. Lectures belong in classrooms, and big thinkers are certainly desired in government…if they really can, indeed, crack a few skulls when need be as well."

Sounds pretty spot on...