Back in 2011 then-governor Rick Perry saw his presidential aspirations become a national joke when, in the midst of a Republican presidential primary debate, he tried to name the three federal agencies he would eliminate, and drew a blank on that key third one, the Department of Energy.
Perry was discussing his jobs plan and his flat tax plan when he said: "And I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the...what's the third one there? Let's see." Finally, Perry gave up. "I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."
It was the "oops" heard round the world.
But, in a development proving irony is alive and well, Perry, most recently a reality TV star on Dancing With the Stars, now might become the head of the Department of Energy.
Seriously. Perry, the guy with the best head of hair in professional politics, may end up as head of the agency he once planned to eliminate yet could not name, which is charged with protecting the energy security of the country, promoting scientific and technological innovation and cleaning up the national nuclear weapons complex.
To say Perry at the helm would not be the best idea is one heck of an understatement. Sure, he was the longest-serving governor of Texas, but overseeing the Lone Star State's energy industry isn't quite the same as tackling the complex beast that is the Department of Energy. Despite the name, the Energy Department isn't just about oil and natural gas. Right now, the department spends about half of its budget managing the nation's stockpile of nuclear weapons and cleaning up environmental waste in Washington State resulting from nuclear weapon production. The department also runs labs focused on climate change.
And then there's Perry, who probably doesn't know much about keeping track of nukes and is a climate-change skeptic.
But what's even more strange about all this is that Perry isn't the worst option on the list. However, that's mainly because the list includes New Jersey Governor Chris "Bridgegate" Christie, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah "I can see Russia from my house" Palin and oilman Harold Hamm, who may not even want the job, according to the Washington Post. They all are into deregulation of the energy industry and climate science skepticism. Christie and Palin come with steamer trunks full of political baggage, while Hamm is embedded in an industry he may end up regulating.
At least Perry has a record of promoting various types of energy, even wind energy and other renewables. Plus, he has that wonderful hair.
His follicle gift from God may prove to be his undoing for the gig, though. Why would Trump want anyone with such luscious locks anywhere near the White House?
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