One would think that a man like Rick Perry, a popular three-term governor of Texas and accomplished dancer, would be a great choice to corral a swirling maelstrom of #FAIL like the Department of Energy. But you would be wrong if you listen to people who know what is really important for a cabinet secretary.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been tapped by Donald Trump to be Secretary of Energy, has a scientific background that pales dramatically in comparison to the last three men to hold the office.
A report in the Daily Beast included a copy of Perry’s transcript from Texas A&M, which the former Governor graduated in 1972 with an Animal Science degree. The transcript shows that Perry had difficulty with some of his science courses.
In the spring of 1970, he flunked Organic Chemistry II. He also got a C in physics, and a number of other C’s and D’s.
Samuel Bodman — President George W. Bush’s second appointee to the post — earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT. (He went on to serve as director of MIT’s School of Engineering Practice. Steven Chu — who served through President Barack Obama’s first term — won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. And Ernest Moniz — who currently serves in the office — was the head of the physics department at MIT for five years.
I have a news flash for this guy. In the real world, unless you are applying to a graduate program, the last time someone really cared about you failing Organic is you at the end of the semester.
The responsibility of the secretary of energy has nothing to do with being a bench scientist. If you go into the secretary’s office and he’s got his goggles on and his desk is covered with Bunsen burners and retorts you are looking at someone who is out of their depth. There is no requirement that the Secretary of Energy have a science background and, given the craptacular performance of Obama’s Energy Department, there is a strong case to me made for saying that pulling in some feckless academic who managed a couple of dozen people, max, and putting them in charge of a massive agency is a profoundly bad idea. In fact, when you look at the history of the department you can see that in the past… because there was history before 2008… the secretary was a corporate executive of a politician.