From a story on Congressional tensions with Obama comes the news that the transition team apparently didn’t tell anyone in that body about its upcoming cabinet choices:
For one thing, even some Senate committees had to scramble to learn Obama’s Cabinet choices. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), never got official notice of two Cabinet nominees within its jurisdiction: Energy Secretary-nominee Steven Chu and Interior Secretary-nominee Ken Salazar.
Rather, the staff of the committee pestered aides on the Obama transition team for clues as to whom the picks might be, ultimately ferreting out the names through their own efforts.
“Did Bingaman receive a phone call from Obama, Biden or [transition co-chairman John] Podesta? No, he did not,” a committee aide said. “We were very curious and wanted to keep our chairman informed. At our initiative, we pressed these [Obama staff] guys pretty hard. And through breaking news and leaks and our own undisclosed sources and through our own people working on the inside, we did know in advance.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Obama did not alert her before announcing two major environmental picks: Lisa Jackson, his nominee for Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and Carol Browner, the new climate change czar. Boxer leads the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
“Maybe it’s because he didn’t want a lot of people knowing his choices, didn’t want to leak things out,” Boxer said. “That could be. But I think the chair of a committee can be trusted.”