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Eye Opener: The Cabinet's Roadtrip Continues

By Ed O'Keefe

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks with National Park employees at Cuyahoga National Park on Tuesday as part of the Obama administration's week-long tour of Midwestern communities hurt by the economic downturn. (AP)

Eye Opener

Happy Wednesday! The Cabinet's Excellent Midwest Adventures continue today with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in Michigan, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in Columbus and Cincinnati and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in Cleveland with auto recovery czar Ed Montgomery. (Watch a CBS News recap of yesterday's appearances here.)

“Cabinet members have gone out en masse in the past, but usually it's in even-numbered years and in the fall,” Brookings Institution presidential expert Stephen Hess notes in a story penned by The Eye in today's Post.

“The idea of using the Cabinet almost as a unit I think is indeed a variation on a theme that I think is quite interesting,” he said.

In an interview yesterday afternoon, Hess marveled at Obama's Cabinet and it's mix of politicians and policy experts, but seemed most impressed with the White House's message coordination and strategic deployment of Cabinet members.

"They’re going out in a way where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By sending them out in numbers, they have become a story. Send them out one by one and it’s a regional story. These people are national news now."

Thoughts? Discuss in the comments section below.

Cabinet and Staff News: Upstate New York (Republican!) Rep. John M. McHugh gets the nod for Army Secretary while thoughts of gerrymandering his large district now dance in the heads of Democratic New York State legislators. The president's economic advisers tout the goodness of health care reform. Headaches await the next TARP chief. Some of Obama's staff picks are sabotaging the GOP.

Cool Link: compiles stories from the Corps' volunteers around the world. This is NOT an officially sanctioned site, but does get more than 150 new entries and 200 new images each day.

U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally: The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs.

Schapiro Vows to Improve SEC's Operations: She's "disappointed" to learn of the agency's shortcomings and said a merger with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission could be a logical move.

FDA to Study Greater Openness: The new agency head, Margaret Hamburg, created a task force (Shocker!) and wants ideas in six months.

VA Is Testing an Advanced New Prosthetic Arm: The department last week announced the start of a three-year clinical trial. The first patient was fitted with an arm in April.

FEMA Reveals Plans for Katrina Housing Transition: The administration today will make available $50 million in rental vouchers to income-eligible trailer occupants who move to targeted housing projects Gears Up for a Makeover: The oversight panel charged with tracking stimulus funds is looking for a contractor to revamp the government's central Web site for following economic stimulus money.

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 3, 2009; 6:03 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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