Coburn: Jeh Johnson is smarter than Congress

Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama's choice for the next Homeland Security Secretary, stands in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013. Johnson was general counsel at the Defense Department during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) Jeh Johnson, President Obama’s choice for the next Homeland Security Secretary, in the Rose Garden at the White House. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

During Wednesday morning’s confirmation hearing for Jeh Johnson to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Sen. Tom Coburn had a confession: Congress isn’t very smart.

At least not relative to the bright light before them.

The Oklahoma Republican praised Johnson’s intellect, claiming that it “is far above mine and most members of Congress.”

“Which is exactly what we want,” he concluded.

Coburn had tough questions and warnings for Johnson, the top Pentagon lawyer who President Obama picked to run the DHS following the departure of Janet Napolitano. He indicated, though, he thought Johnson would ultimately win the Senate’s approval.

Smarter than Congress? Perhaps that’s faint praise.

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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Al Kamen · November 12, 2013