Now is the time when the Chief Executive taps individuals for positions while nobody’s looking and everyone is away, usually creating an outcry from the other side of the aisle. President Obama’s recess appointments will be no different. Most recess appointments are by definition controversial because they are usually individuals who couldn’t make it through the usual confirmation process.
The Obama recess appointments this time include six people, mostly appointed to ambassadorships, but not lacking their share of controversy. The appointees included Norman Eisen, Robert Ford, Matthew Bryza, Francis Ricciardone and William Boarman. The appointment that raised the most eyebrows however, is James Cole who was placed into the number 2 spot at the Justice Department.
First let me say that I have mixed feelings about recess appointments. Obama is the President of the United States; he should have some leeway when it comes to placing individuals into certain jobs. Presidents from both parties in the past have had their share of recess appointments; usually using the opportunity to bypass the Senate when confirmation was impossible or difficult.
That being said, there are jobs that should command the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation. Ambassadorships should be allowed to pass without clamor from the opposition party. Or in the case of William Boarman who was appointed to U.S. public printer. However, judgeships are another matter and certainly the appointment of James Cole to Deputy Attorney General warrants outcry from Republicans.
The GOP blocked the Cole nomination for a slew of reasons. First, he raised concerns because he had made statements indicating that he supported trying terror suspects in U.S. courts. Secondly he was a private consultant for AIG before the 2008 bailout fiasco. And third, Cole is a close personal friend of Eric Holder who is not without his fair share of controversies.
President Obama’s recess appointments are a mixed bag of “who cares” and “are you kidding me.” You can read more about his appointments here and here. Tell us what you think about Obama bypassing the Senate to appoint controversial individuals to very important positions.