Monday, March 1, 2010

Paul Krugman, Killjoy

Yesterday at the end of the roundtable discussion on ABC’s This Week, the panel George F. Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, and Paul Krugman finally got around to discussing the Most Important Topic of the Week as seen by Elizabeth Vargas, doing the host duties: the termination of the employment of Desiree Rogers as the White House Social Secretary.

VARGAS: And then, of course, this weekend, we have a brand-new White House social secretary appointed to replace Desiree Rogers, a close friend of the Obamas who is exiting after a bumpy tenure, I would say. Cokie, you spoke with her. She — she was highly criticized after the Obamas’ first state dinner in which she arrived, looking absolutely gorgeous, but in what some people later said was far too fancy a dress, but most importantly, that was the state dinner that was crashed by the Salahis, who walked in without an invitation when the social secretary’s office didn’t have people manning the security sites.

This led to a deep discussion about whether Ms. Rogers was fired or resigned and the implications for anyone who takes employment in the White House overseeing such things as state dinners and receptions.

WILL: It is axiomatic that when there’s no penalty for failure, failure proliferates. She failed conspicuously in her one great challenge, which was the first state dinner, and she’s gone. If she’s gone because she failed, that’s a healthy sign.

VARGAS: The big question, of course, because she was one of that close contingent of Chicago friends is whether or not she’s just the first to leave or if we’ll see other…

That led Dr. Krugman to ask,

KRUGMAN: Can I say that 20 million Americans unemployed, the fact that we’re worrying about the status of the White House social secretary…

VARGAS: It’s our light way to end, Paul.

DONALDSON: Paul, welcome to Washington.

Oh, Paul, you’re such a buzz kill.