When Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced her resignation last week, my Washington Examiner colleague Philip Klein quipped on Twitter: "Obama may as well cut to the chase and nominate [AFL-CIO President] Richard Trumka as labor secretary this time."Solis' predecessor, Bush-appointee Elaine Chao, compelled the labor bosses to release financial disclosure forms--so the union rank-and-file would know how their dues money was being spent. But Solis dropped those requirements. She is for the bosses--not the workers.
It's funny because it's true. A Trumka nomination would be about the only way to put somebody more pro-labor than Solis in the position. As far as she was concerned, it was her job to use the federal government to advance Big Labor's interests.
Theoretically, Cabinet secretaries act in the best interest of the nation as a whole. In reality, presidents usually nominate people who share their ideological leanings. Yet even taking that into account, Solis set new standards for bowing and scraping before the interests she was supposedly meant to regulate. She was quite open about it too.
"I am proud and humbled to be your humble servant as labor secretary," Solis said at the 2009 AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh. For good measure, Solis also told the convention that then-outgoing AFL-CIO President John Sweeney was her "good friend and colleague" as well as "our president."
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