Madame Chao: Okay, Now We'll Call Her A Dragon Lady
Yesterday we did a little blogging about Labor Secretary Elaine Chao -- a.k.a. Mrs. Mitch McConnell (address her that way, she loves it). We asked you for a little scuttlebutt about Secretary Chao. And then the floodgates opened.
After the jump, your catty comments and unverified gossip about our beloved Secretary of Labor.
Here are some of the things you had to say about Madam Chao. We'll start with this one, 'coz it's our favorite:
When Elaine Chao was (briefly, thank god) director of the Peace Corps, she had a big problem with the concept of tinkling amongst other staff in the restrooms. So she tried to get her own installed in her office. A queen must have her throne. (P.S. I heard United Way practically PAID her to leave, she did so much damage.)
We're not going to fault Secretary Chao for wanting a toilette privé; it's quite understandable. We get a little gun-shy sometimes too.
If the toilet story is true, it wouldn't be the first time Chao has had money management issues:
During her first term as Secretary she blew threw her discretionary funds (her "tea party fund") in months, and when she was told she'd run out of money for parties and receptions, she tried to get her mitts on ODEP funds which the public can contribute to. How she spends her discretionary funds would make an interesting FOIA request...
Ah, Elaine... an Imelda after our own heart! Anyone know what kind of shoe collection she has? Is she as much of a shopaholic as Secretary Albright?
Here's a little more about the make-up people:
I'm always wondering if her hair and makeup people are on staff. I'm sure I've seen them with badges.
By the way... I've seen the stylists in the Francis Perkins Building. Not at home. At work. There's some sort of room on the 6th floor near the cafeteria.
This is pretty awesome. Maybe Secretary Chao can bring a Hollywood make-up trailer onto the grounds at the DoL, with a big star on the door. She certainly thinks of herself as a star:
I've heard that it's hard to be around her for more than short periods of time without hearing how she got her MBA at Harvard. Apparently she's fairly proud of it. She also started some "MBA Fellows" program at DoL because she thinks an MBA makes you an incredibly better person.
Doesn't President Bush have a Harvard MBA? QED.
Despite the Harvard pedigree, no one would mistake Secretary Chao for the Administration genius:
Elaine Chao is not only a diva but also the dumbest person in this administration -- by far! If you have a minute, check out this March 4, 2004 House Ways and Means Committee hearing (transcript here), especially the Q&A between Charlie Rangel and Chao and Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Chao. Their questions relate to a report, which Chao claims the President did not sign (although his signature is on one of the first pages and it is the report of the President's Council of Economic Advisers). As congressional hearings go, this one was as funny as they come.
Check out this exchange:
Mr. CARDIN. So, let me get to the most recent numbers that we have, and that is, in the second half of 2003 the Administration said that we would create 1.9 million jobs, and you feel 1.8 million short. Now, I don't remember anything extraordinary happening in the second half of 2003, but do you have a justification as to why we fell so short in the second half of 2003?
Ms. CHAO. Let me go back to your question about the two surveys.
Mr. CARDIN. I didn't ask a question about the two surveys, and I really----
Ms. CHAO. Let me make a comment anyway, then. There are two surveys that the Bureau of Labor Statistics----
Mr. CARDIN. I am not interested in that.
Good strategy, Secretary Chao! Keep on talking about stuff they're not interested in, and they'll let you go eventually.
When it comes to congressional testimony, non-sequiturs are the name of the game. Perhaps Chao's smarter than we thought.
Interview with Bush Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao [Yahoo! Message Boards (satire)]