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TRANSITION: Obama Staff Vs. The Reformy Crowd

There doesn't seem to be any new news about the EdSec nomination, so here's my  current (and entirely unverified) hypothesis about what might be going on behind the scenes: 

Freaked out that the two top DPC education jobs went to campaign staff (and the top transition job went to Darling-Hammond), the reformy crowd started worrying about getting frozen out of the transition and nomination processes – and might lose the policy battle along the way.  Maybe it was they, not the teachers union, who’d been snookered by candidate Obama’s carefully chosen and ambiguous words about schools for the past two years. 

Unable to wedge themselves into the decision process (or unsure of their influence), they decided to try and exert some public pressure on the transition with the string of stories that they got published by the Washington Post editorial page, David Brooks, and The New Republic.  Why go public if you think you're going to get your way in the end? 

So now, the Obama folks know that some small but loud part of their supporters will be pissed off publicly if LDH gets a top job.  But they also probably don't like being pressured this way.  They’ve avoided any public wrangling over most of their nominations and appointments up to this point.  You haven't seen other advocacy groups out there working the press like this on other appointments.

So how is LDH still hanging around, assuming this last round of attacks didn't already doom her chances?  My theory is that she may be the favorite of some or all of the campaign staff who started working with her in 2007 when the campaign's education policies were just taking shape.  Some rumors have it that LDH was hard to work with and gave the campaign fits, but it's just as easy to imagine that she developed strong working relationships with campaign staff early on, back when the DFER crowd was still hanging back or supporting another candidate.

Last but not least, it's worth noting that campaign (now transition) staff can't be all that happy about the DFER crowd, given that their infamous and condescending memo didn't recommend them for the DPC jobs that the ended up getting anyway.

Or maybe this is entertaining but all wrong. 


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a helpful reader notes that there was some similar controversy over the summers appointment -- perhaps not at the same level as last week's flurry re duncan and LDH.

the TNR blog has some interesting -- reported! -- additional information that seems to confirm at least some of the above post


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