The Chief of Staff is a guy named Patrick Rhode. He planned events for President Bush’s campaign. Rhode has no emergency management experience whatsoever. From Rhode’s official bio:
"His first position with the Bush Administration was as special assistant to the President and deputy director of National Advance Operations, a position he assumed in January 2001. Previously, Mr. Rhode served as deputy director of National Advance Operations for the George W. Bush Presidential Campaign, in Austin, Texas."
The Deputy Chief of Staff is Scott Morris. He was a press flak for Bush’s presidential campaign. Previously, he worked for the company that produced Bush’s campaign commercials. He also has no emergency management experience. From Morris’s official bio:
"Mr. Morris was also the marketing director for the world’s leading provider of e-business applications software in California, and worked for Maverick Media in Austin, Texas as a media strategist for the George W. Bush for President primary campaign and the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign."
These guys make Brown look qualified. And that’s no small feat.
On Minnesota Public Radio this morning, I heard host Kerri Miller either defending FEMA director Michael Brown's credentials or playing devil's advocate with the guest. The gist: does it matter if the FEMA head has direct emergency-management experience, or is it more important to be a good leader who knows enough to surround himself withi a talented staff? Fair enough question, and one I recall was posed about Bush when he was running the first time (let's not get into the answer to that one). Tonight ThinkProgress goes beyond the fact that Brown got his job not through any relevant experience but through a college buddy, and looks at those under him at FEMA. Not pretty:
at 7:18 PM