Tom Corbett suffered a little embarrassment yesterday when the incoming Pennsylvania Governor had to tell reporters his announced chief of staff wouldn’t be joining the administration after all.
Brian Nutt, who ran Corbett’s campaign decided he was more interested in politics than government and headed for Brabender Cox, and blue-chip Republican media consulting firm.
Harrisburg insiders are beginning to talk about chaos in the Corbett transition, saying he’s behind schedule and having trouble filling key posts.
I’m sure this is true, and, having covered a few transitions, just as sure it’s perfectly normal.
I remember hearing the same complaints about Ed Rendell, both when he became mayor of Philadelphia in 1991 and when he became governor in 2002 ( I’d heard rumors he might offer me a Harrisburg job, and by the time he got around to it, I’d assumed it wasn’t going to happen).
Some jobs weren’t filled until after inauguration day.
The only thing I’m sure of is that Corbett should take as long as he needs to get this done right, and not worry about what anyone says. It’s an antsy time for the capitol press corps, and they’ll obsess on appointments because there’s little else to chew on.
In the end nobody will remember stories about a clunky transition. They will notice and remember if the government is dysfunctional.
Absolutely nothing is more important to any executive’s success than recruiting the right people and putting them in the right places. If Corbett doesn’t find people with the brains, integrity and managerial skill to get things done, it will be a very long four years.
By the way, I almost became Ed Rendell’s press secretary, but in the end he and the Commonwealth were better served by others. Like I said, take your time and get it right.