So now we have it, the first big foul up this campaign season from the infusion of cabinet members into the election.
The HHS Secretary apparently was giving an official speech highlighting the Administration's work on behalf of equality for gays and lesbians, a matter closely related to her official function because the federal government and all but eight states impose some legal restrictions on the ability of same sex couples to live in monogamous relationships. So far so good . . .
. . . until she endorses a candidate for governor of North Carolina. This was apparently done without any forethought as there are other Democrats in the race and (this time at least) the President has no intention of intervening in a primary. More important, under the Hatch Act this should not have happened in an official speech at all. And it makes no difference that the DNC pays for the trip.
So, we have two options.
First, realize that Hatch Act reform is not a partisan issue because this type of thing has happened before in other administrations. Once high ranking government officials are drawn into partisan politics, it is very difficult for them to remember which role they are playing and when. As I have suggested here before we should fix the Hatch Act to prohibit all partisan political activity in any capacity – personal or official -- by senior appointees in the Executive Branch.
Second, we can blame this and everything else that is wrong with our country on the fact that the President has no birth certificate, is a closet Muslim, is a socialist or some other conspiracy theory having a shelf life running though the first week of November. And certainly let’s not fix the Hatch Act, because when our team gets in we will of course do better.