If we’ve learned anything from the pending IRS scandal, it’s that bureaucrats matter. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell apparently thinks so. According to a recent National Review article, McConnell, unlike most minority leaders, has put a great deal of effort into recommending highly qualified individuals for spots on the more than 100 bipartisan agencies and commissions in the federal bureaucracy. He views his role in recommending appointees as a way to combat regulatory overreach and equip a “farm team” that will be poised to take over the reins of agencies the next time there’s a Republican in the White House.
The article reports that while most minority leaders have made recommendations to reward patronage and keep party operatives happy, McConnell acts more systematically. His adviser charged with identifying potential nominees looks at five criteria:
First, [a]re the nominees competent in the subject matter? Second, [a]re they philosophically compatible with Senator McConnell? Third, d[o] they possess high character and integrity? Fourth, [a]re they tough? Fifth, [a]re they team players?
In light of these criteria, it’s not surprising that one of the McConnell recommendations highlighted in the article is TOTM co-founder, now FTC Commissioner, Josh Wright. As the article observes (correctly, IMHO), Wright is “widely considered his generation’s greatest mind on antitrust law.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean Wright’s always right. More about that to come….