The Washington Post

Acting DOL chief Harris taking prominent role

Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris.

Now, some Labor employees are wondering if Harris has designs on ditching the “acting” from his title and getting the White House nod for the big job.

So far, his name isn’t among those most mentioned for the nomination — but Harris, a former law professor who served at the Department of Labor during the Clinton administration, has made a recent push for visibility.

It didn’t go unnoticed that he was featured prominently in the latest edition of the Labor Department’s newsletter. Though Harris had been “acting” chief for less than two weeks when the publication came out, his quotes appeared in five articles, and his picture appeared twice (including a shot of him with Clinton).

Basically, if the department’s newsletter was US Weekly, he’d be its Lindsay Lohan.

Harris has changed his Twitter handle to “ActingSecHarris,”and he’s been busy churning out quotes for press releases, with at least nine statements bearing his words.

Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio said all the activity has more to do with Harris’ personality and style than his ambitions. “I’ve known Seth Harris for 20 years, and he’s just an enthusiastic and exuberant person,” he said. “He brings that to everything he does, and he’s been an enthusiastic and exuberant acting Secretary.”

Still, Harris looks like someone who’s“acting” as if he wouldn’t mind being noticed.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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