After Leighty, What Comes Next?

What are the implications of William H. Leighty’s departure at the end of the day as Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s chief of staff? Leighty, who has served Kaine for two years and Gov. Mark R. Warner for four years before him, is understandably burned out. Writes Kimball Payne with the Daily Press:

“Somewhere along this journey my role of chief of staff and the person of Bill Leighty merged,” Leighty told colleagues. “I neglected my friends and family. I stopped going to the funerals of those who stood by me and taught me so much. I stopped bird watching and I went to bed snuggling my Blackberry; all in the name of service to Virginia.”

Leighty was widely respected for his meticulous planning and attention to detail. He was the guy who made the trains run on time. Although he caught flack last year for making derogatory remarks about Republican delegates, he was widely perceived as a “good government” Democrat more interested in getting things done than scoring political points.

As one correspondent puts it, “We are four hours away from the end of the Warner administration. The training wheels, and gloves, come off at 5pm EST.”

Will a more partisan, more confrontational Kaine administration be the result? Stay tuned.

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One response to “After Leighty, What Comes Next?”

  1. thurston howell Avatar
    thurston howell

    There’s such a thing as delegating authority. If someone wants to “have a life,” they don’t let themselves become the one-stop for every decision.

    Mr. Leighty may have “burned out,” but I wonder if the rumors of political hacks getting in his way, hinted at by Not Larry Sabato, might be the real reason he’s leaving.

    I also wonder if the largely mediocre cabinet appointees and agency directors frustrated him.

    How about Leighty for President of Mary Washington?

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