Cabinet secretaries as bosses: Hillary Clinton’s tops

So how well are President Obama’s Cabinet members and top aides doing? Well, not so great — though some far better than others — according to the Partnership for Public Service.

The group’s “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report is avidly studied by federal workers, job seekers and top officials as a barometer on which agencies are performing well and which aren’t, and its 2011 edition is now out.

The massive study slices and dices the data every which way, as our colleague Ed O’Keefe reports. But “a fish rots from the head first,” as Michael Dukakis pointed out in the 1988 presidential campaign, and so we decided to focus on the secretaries and senior aides at the top of the larger agencies.

The study says the “Effective Leadership — Senior Leaders” category “measures the level of respect employees have for senior leaders, satisfaction with the amount of information provided by management, and perceptions about senior leaders’ honesty, integrity and ability to motivate employees.” Only five Cabinet members — led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who scored 56.9 — managed to get above 50 on a scale of 1 to 100. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who, we should point out, never, ever, ever worked at Goldman Sachs, improved by 2.6 points to come in second at 52.3. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano dropped 1.7 and came in last at 41.4.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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