Draft post cleanup #17: Obama overqualified for application to be president

Yet another post in my “draft blog post cleanup” series.  Here is #17 from October 30, 2008.  I note – I never posted it because I tend to avoid politics here on the blog — but three+ years later I think it is OK …

Dear Mr. Obama


Thank you for your application for the position of 

President of the United States

Unfortunately we are unable to consider you for this position because you have been deemed overqualified.  
We believe that hiring people into positions for which they are overqualified can be damaging both to the person being hired and to morale of others working here at The White House.  Examples of your overqualifications include your rhetorical skills, your intelligence, the nearly limitless number of endorsements you have received from all sides of the political spetrum, your fanatical followers, the distinguished collection of advisors with which you have surrounded yourself, etc. etc.  Consider in contrast the qualifications of some of the other people who have applied for this job: poor rhetorical skills, bad taste in selecting assistants, lack of endorsements even by friends, etc etc.  Also consider the qualifications of the person who you will be replacing in this position.  

Given this, we believe that hiring you for this position is simply not wise.  Most likely you will be bored with carrying out the duties as established by the current 

President of the United States

which include mountain biking, meeting celebrities and athletes, attending dinners, and signing papers as instructed by the Vice President.  In addition, if we were to hire you into this position, it would have profound effects on the morale of other personnel currently in the White House who have tried to maintain a low qualification appearance in the face of the qualifications of the current President.  

Therefore, we are writing to ask if you would kindly reconsider your application to be 

President of the United States

and wonder if you would be interested in any of the other open positions which we have posted all of which by recent precedent require someone with more qualifications than those possessed by the current President and the other candidates. If a need arises for us to contact you in the future, we will do so and you have our continued good wishes.


Very truly yours,

The White House Staff

Obama indicates his clear support for science with Chu as Secretary of Energy

Well, say what you will about Steve Chu, but the fact that Obama has nominated him to be the Secretary of Energy is only a good sign for science and society as far as I am concerned.

It is a good sign for science because it shows explicitly Obama’s respect and support for science. Most recent Secretaries of Energy have been non scientists (the #s depends on whether you count an engineer as a scientist – I do – but some don’t) and Bush (who I want to say is out previous president but we still have him for another month) does not believe in evidence in any way, let alone science.

It is a good sign for society because it is important for the president to understand and respect science. So – some may criticize Chu for some issues – but none of the criticisms I have seen really hit home with me. Sure, I would like a Biologist in their in the Cabinet, but Chu seems to actually understand that the biological diversity of the planet is under threat from global change and he wants to do something about it. I cannot really ask for much more from a Physicist/Administrator. For full disclosure – I have an Adjunct position at LAwrence Berkeley Lab where Chu just happens to be the Director. So maybe I am not completely objective, but anyway, I think this is a good day all around.