Just when you thought there could be no greater punchline than giving former Texas governor Rick Perry, a job leading the agency he infamously forgot about in a 2012 debate, the joke has gotten much worse.
According to a New York Times report published on Wednesday night, Perry, who is trying to become Donald Trump's Energy Secretary, literally had no clue about what the job actually entailed. He jumped at the chance to serve in Trump's administration because he thought the Energy Secretary was just a glorified pitchman for the oil industry. Unfortunately for Perry, that is not the job he signed up for.
Now, the man who, if confirmed by the Senate, will be in charge of spending $20 billion a year to maintain the country's nuclear arsenal as head of the Department of Energy is dealing with what one source optimistically called a "learning curve." (That source later told the Daily Caller his words had been misinterpreted, though he provided no other evidence that he had been taken out of context.)
Here it is straight from the Times:
When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
Everything is just fine!
UPDATE: Since the Times' story ran, their source, ex-Tump transition team staffer Michael McKenna, told the conservative blog the Daily Caller that his comments were taken out of context and that "of course" Perry knew what the DOE job entailed when he accepted. The Times has not yet commented on the outcry over the story's sourcing, but we'll update this post if they do.