Rick Hess is shocked, shocked, to learn there is lobbying going on around a key administration priority. Seriously? Did he just move to Washington or is he angling for a gig on Fox?
It’s par for the course for senior administration officials to lobby on major issues. And it’s also par for the course for an administration to dangle goodies to get votes. When the going gets really rough they’ll give you a bridge even if you don’t have a river, as they say. But what Hess implies here, that Duncan might be dealing Race to the Top or I3 dollars for health care votes, is a serious charge because of the structure of those initiatives. So serious, in fact, that Hess quasi-retracts it right after making it! The first line of his last graf sort of renders the rest of the piece irrelevant, no?
In any event, I doubt it’s the case. For starters, Duncan isn’t an idiot. And statewide initiatives are of less interest to House members than to senators so it’s only really I3 money Duncan could deal and that would be hard to do. Besides, right now, if anything, it’s the Administration’s concern about getting “Reading Firsted” that’s leading to problematic decisions (overreactions being as common in Washington as lobbying by senior administration officials on major pieces of legislation) around education grant programs.
First Rick went ape over Obama’s speech to students and now this. I like my Hess politics-free!