Beat-Sweetener Contest: The Winners

Chatterbox invited readers to parody the flattering “beat-sweetener” profiles of Bush appointees written by Washington journalists hoping to curry favor with the new administration. The winners appear below.

Eighth place goes to Michael Buttram:

President-elect George W. Bush today announced the appointment of Robert Downey Jr. as the new director of the Drug Enforcement Agency. In a prepared statement, Gov. Bush lauded Mr. Downey’s record and familiarity with the hottest controlled substances on the street today.

Seventh place goes to Glenn Chuck Harrison:

[Attorney general nominee Darth] Vader is deeply religious, which he says is the source of his strength and conviction. Though critics disparage his crime prevention program on Alderan as somewhat heavy-handed, Vader correctly points out that the Alderanian crime rate seems to have vaporized with little or no complaints from the indigenous population.

Sixth place goes to “curmudgeon1”:

As further evidence of his efforts to promote diversity in his administration, President-elect Bush today announced the nomination of Paula Jones for the post of attorney general. Jones is best known for her tireless campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace, and her tenacious activism has earned her the admiration of even the most conservative Republicans.

Fifth place goes to Ed Furey:

Mr. Eichmann prides himself on his intuitive ability to understand what his leader wants, needs, and expects in carrying out policy. Congressional sources enthusiastically endorse Mr. Eichmann’s attention to detail and initiative carrying out orders from the top. “Mr. Bush is a big picture kind of guy,” said one transition official. “He doesn’t want to be bothered with all the bureaucratic minutiae. In fact, in many cases, he simply prefers to give an order verbally, leaving his appointees to generate the paper trail.”

Fourth place goes to Adam M. Lewis:

Mr. Sutton is said to move comfortably between the worlds of finance and his working-class roots. “Willie’s always been one of the boys, watching television, lifting weights, even doing his share of the digging,” said his Wharton classmate John “Black Jack” Dillinger, a managing director at Goldman Sachs who has partnered with Mr. Sutton on several lucrative banking transactions. “But at the same time, he can go into any bank on Wall Street and come out with more than sufficient financing for any venture.”

Third place goes to Anonymous from the University of North Carolina:

President-elect George W. Bush today announced the nomination of his father, former President Bush, to a new Cabinet post tentatively titled “secretary of government.” This office will oversee the aspects of the president’s job that relate to American government. Aides claim that this action will free President Bush from the details of the office, allowing him to concentrate on “the big picture.”

Second place goes to Elijah T. Flake:

In yet another sign that President-elect George W. Bush will continue to augment his administration with experienced hands from his father’s term as president, former banking executive Neil Bush was named today as President-elect Bush’s nominee for secretary of the treasury.

Neil Bush, 45, was a prominent member of the board of directors of a Colorado bank from 1985-88. While a director, the younger Bush brother showed advanced business acumen and able networking skills as he parlayed the assets of Silverado Savings and Loan into a number of multimillion dollar investments in oil exploration, earning himself a substantial return in the process. After the bank re-distributed its assets and changed hands in 1988, Neil took a leading role as an independent, private-sector adviser to federal banking regulators in his father’s administration, who were looking for ways to improve customer returns on investments in struggling smaller thrifts.

…And the winner is … Arthur Stock:

Although the appointment of Kim Jong Il to President Bush’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform surprised many, Jong Il, who like Bush initially succeeded his father into high office without benefit of an electoral victory, says that his own electoral experience will provide him with a useful perspective.

“When I got around to holding an election, the voters of North Korea provided me with a mandate. A significant vote counting delay or a dimpled chad controversy would have left me significantly weakened,” Jong Il stated. In the recent North Korean elections, Jong Il received 99.99957 percent of the vote, and all of the votes had been tallied by 5 p.m. on Election Day. “Our government offices are even more efficient than Voter News Service since our tally was precisely correct several hours before the polls closed. In fact, we’re especially proud that we could help the newsweeklies meet their deadlines by supplying correct election return data before the polls even opened.” Jong Il hopes to help President Bush introduce this level of accuracy and efficiency to U. S. elections. Jong Il said that North Korea would never use punch-card reading hardware and software for vote counting because of concerns about the accuracy of the equipment and also because all of the nation’s punch-card readers are needed to operate its nuclear weapons.