Interior Secretary Gale Norton is reviled by many enviro activists for pushing energy development at the expense of environmental protection. But as Elizabeth R. Washburn argues in an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, she’s to be commended for “helping women break through the glass ceiling in a federal bureaucracy known for its good old boy leanings.”

In her four years at the helm of the Interior Deparment, Norton has filled key management positions with women, including Lynn Scarlett, Rebecca Watson, Kathleen Clarke, Johnnie Burton, Fran Mainella, Sue Ellen Wooldridge, and Teresa Chambers (though things went a bit awry in Chambers’ case). “This is the first time that such a large group of women has been assembled to make decisions that affect land, minerals, water and the general environment of the United States,” writes Washburn.

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That’s impressive. But personally — even as a progressive who cares about equal representation — I’m far more interested in policy outcomes than in who’s behind them. Give me a stale old white guy who cares about multilateralism and opposes “preemptive war” over Condoleezza Rice any day.

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