Arne Duncan’s Exit: Not Unexpected.
It’s true: US Secretary Arne Duncan has resigned. He will be out of the White House in December. His story is that he is headed back to Chicago to be with his family.
What is noteworthy is that Obama has another year in the White House. The Duncans could have stayed in Virginia where they were residing (and where Duncan’s kids were attending Common-Core-free public school) for another entire school year. Instead, Duncan’s wife, Karen, and their children headed back to Chicago in July– more than a full school year before Obama would finish his time as a two-term president.
So, for Duncan to say that he is resigning to be with the fam seems more like he knew he would be resigning at the end of 2015– right in the middle of a school year. So, it became realistic for the Duncans to move back to Chicago summer 2015.
Then there is the issue of someone to fill in as secretary for the remainder of Obama’s term. Not any officially recognized secretary, just a sub. Enter former New York State Chancellor John King– the perfect guy to “fail upward.” King resigned his position as NYS chancellor in the throes of terrible publicity for his and NY Board of Regents’ foolish approval for established fraud— Ted J. Morris, Jr.— the responsibility for which neither the New York State Education Department (NYSED) nor the Board of Regents wanted to take responsibility, though both were clearly responsible for not investigating Morris’ fabricated background with even a cursory Google search.
So, in December 2014, King was comfortably ushered up to a higher level of incompetence as a “senior adviser” to Duncan.
King as an adviser to anyone is funny, and more so immediately following the grossly-inept Morris affair. But King is a corporate reformer who needed saving, and he could prove to be a suitable 12-month crash test dummy given that Obama could have been planning for a Duncan exit even then.
Perhaps the Democrats want to try to distance themselves from Duncan’s awful, Common-Core defending, white-mom-insulting, NCLB-waiver-threat-wielding legacy before an election year. Sure, New Yorkers know how terrible King was, but King does not have the national profile that Duncan has– plus he is a fellow Democrat who is national-nothing enough to provide the soft filling needed for a secretary of education in a lame duck president’s final year in office.
Addendum 10-03-15: In his farewell address to Duncan, Obama states that he asked Duncan to stay. However, Duncan was grossly unpopular outside of the Beltway; so, I do not discount Duncan’s negatively-charged political persona as notably associated with his departure.