In a vintage moment for the Bush Administration, controversial U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose was promoted to a position in Washington in the wake of widespread allegations of abuse and incompetence. The move is expected to assist GOP Sen. Norm Coleman who was behind the nomination of Paulose despite her lack of experience.
Paulose was given the plum Minnesota job due to her connections in the Gonzales Justice Department — at the age of 33. She was a personification of the lack of professional standards in the Bush Administration as people like Monica Goodling (who lacked any outstanding qualification for her own high position) worked on the firing of experienced prosecutors. In their wake, Bush loyalists like Paulose were appointed. Likewise, Bush officials put an inexperienced lawyers in as U.S. Attorney whose only outstanding qualification was his work as Karl Rove’s aide.
In January 2006, Paulose, then 32, began work at Justice in Washington under Acting Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and as a special assistant to Gonzales. Only one month later, she was named interim U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. The Bush Administration used the new interim appointment power that Democrats and Republicans voted for as part of the Patriot Act. She was later unanimously confirmed for the permanent job by the Senate in December 2006, despite the absence of qualifications. Once again, Democrats were absent without leave on the nomination.
Paulose quickly made an ungodly mess of the office. She was immediately controversial for an official celebration for her installment that seemed weirdly regal, including a color guard and choir. She was accused of reading Bible verses to her staff, berating them on their performance, using a racial slur against an employee, and retaliating against another co-worker. In April, three top supervisors stepped down from their management positions rater than continue with her in those capacities.
What is most striking is that Paulose’s ruinous tenure results in a technical promotion to Washington. The Bush Administration simply threw out other U.S. Attorneys who were respected and experienced. However, with Paulose, her nationally ridiculed performance demanded a promotion for political reasons.
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