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Inside the Beltway: Bill and the hoodie
He just wants folks in Washington to get along. Be productive. Stop quibbling. So says former Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr., now on the cusp of signing on as co-chairman of No Labels, a well-heeled activist group that pines to be a grass-roots effort devoted to “stop fighting, start fixing.” Creating a third political party does not interest them. At least, not yet.
“Too many people in Washington believe that leading consists of imposing their will on the opposition,” Mr. Huntsman said during an official No Labels conference call. “This all-or-nothing leadership is an attitude that may work on military battlefields or in competitive business markets. But it’s a recipe for dysfunction in democratic politics.”
He added, “Compromise has got to be seen as more than a treasonous thing.”
His earnest talk drew catcalls, though.
“By ‘no labels,’ they claim they are middle of the road and super fair and such. What they really mean is Better Than You,” points out the staff at Twitchy.com.
“‘Joining’ is just a label, so Jon Huntsman’s status remains unchanged,” concludes syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg.
MITCH DANIELS‘ CHALLENGE
It’s a bit of a dicey situation facing former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who becomes president of Purdue University in January. The faculty is about to revolt against “bureaucratic bloat” at the public university, where the number of administrative employees has jumped 54 percent, eight times the number of academic hires.
Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer. It employs 16 deans and 11 vice presidents, among them a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief, according to Bloomberg News. The situation is worse, on average, at other U.S. universities.
Mr. Daniels, described as a “game changer” by the trustees who hired him five months ago, promises that the school will educate “at the highest level the engineers, scientists, agricultural experts and information technologists on whom our state and national success disproportionately depend.”
“I don’t know what any of these people do,” complained biomedical engineering professor J. Paul Robinson, chairman of the faculty Senate and organizer of the revolt, as he strode — gesticulating — through a fancy 10-story “administrative tower” on campus.
“We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible. Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?” Mr. Robinson told Bloomberg.
POLL DU JOUR
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