Warner-Kaine Continuity

Michael Shear

reported in today’s Washington Post that Governor-elect Tim Kaine has asked Governor Warner’s Chief of Staff, William H. Leighty to stay on and that Leighty has accepted.

I’m a little surprised, just because Chief of Staff is a job that has a very high burn-out factor. Leighty apparently has a high tolerance for heat!

From my less-than-lofty perch in state government, I can’t say that I’ve noticed much that’s emanated from the Chief of Staff’s office. I’ve been disappointed, after what seemed like a strong start to the Warner Administration, at the seeming lack of on-going initiatives to cut costs, foster innovation, or encourage cooperation across agencies. Of course, a lot of stuff doesn’t filter down to my level.

From the same perch, however, I’ve seen Mr. Leighty make his boss look good, even great at times, and keep his boss away from any hint of trouble within state government. There is no higher accomplishment for a Chief of Staff, so I’d say Governor-elect Kaine has made an excellent choice and that Leighty is performing a tremendous public service by agreeing to remain.

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7 responses to “Warner-Kaine Continuity”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    I’ll bet a lot less stuff filters down to your level than used to before you became a blog phenom!

    One of the nice things going on for Kaine is he can ask people to stay without necessarily promising them four year gigs, or them having to pledge their troth for the whole term. He can have an experienced team for the crucial first session, and a rolling transition of key people at his own schedule.

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar

    Good point on the rolling transition.

    The non-blogger phenoms I work with aren’t getting much filtered down to them, either, unless they’re holding out on me!

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    This begs the question – which cabinet level secretaries are going to stay, if any?

    From my really, really, really low perch, I was disappointed by Tayloe Murphy as I thought he would be more ambitious on the natural resource conservation initiatives than he was. Seemed like it was all Chesapeake Bay with little else.

  4. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Secretary of Technology Eugene Huang is definitely leaving in January. I interviewed him this morning for a column in the next edition of Bacon’s Rebellion, and he confirmed that he will be leaving. The first thing he’s going to do is take a vacation to Taiwan with his mom!

    I’ve heard rumors from an informed source that Secretary of Commerce Michael Schewel is willing to stay on. That surprises me, given the lucrative job he gave up as a corporate attorney. But apparently he’s enjoyed the job.

    I’ve also heard that there may be interest in keeping Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer, although that may have been more wishful thinking by my source, who would like to see Homer stay. My impression is that Homer’s thinking tracks Kaine’s pretty closely, and he’s served only a few months, so I’d be surprised if he doesn’t accept an offer if it were extended to him.

  5. Jim Bacon Avatar

    One more piece of “who stays, who goes” speculation…. I ran into Tayloe Murphy at a neighborhood Halloween party a couple of weeks ago (his daughter lives in the ‘hood), and I kidded him about how he must be really eager to move back to his home in the Chesapeake Bay after four years in Richmond. He was too diplomatic to say he could hardly wait to get out of town, but he didn’t disabuse me of the notion. He spoke very highly of Joe Marroon, head of DEQ, who might be a logical candidate to take over if and when Tayloe leaves.

  6. John Bennett is going to VCU…that was in the RTD a couple weeks ago. Peter Blake (acting SOE/dep sec HE) is going to VCCS.

  7. JamesRiverGOP Avatar

    Will, you’re right. This is a good choice.

    The best that can be said of any CoC is that one doesn’t know who he is. Successful CoC’s are those who run the machine from the shadows.

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