Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman — himself a distant Romney cousin — boasts four former White House denizens among his relatives: Roosevelt, Coolidge and both Bushes.
Alas, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has only one ex-prez in the family. He’s a fifth cousin, four times removed, to Harry Truman. (He is, however, a first cousin, six times removed, to colorful Texas founding father Sam Houston).
The online family genealogy site looked at the family trees of some of the GOP hopefuls (though they’re still working on Newt Gingrich’s lineage) as a way to highlight the “surprising” things people can learn once they start tracing their roots, says Anastasia Harman, the company’s lead family historian.
All this familial blood in today’s politics doesn’t necessarily mean more civility — and that should be no surprise to anyone with a large family of opinionated relatives.
Parking the czars
Stick a fork in them — the czars are done.
A little-noticed provision in the omnibus spending bill that Congress passed last weekend ends funding for four of President Obama’s policy “czars.” It might have been a tad superfluous: Congress had already nixed funding for those czars in the budget bill passed in April.
And besides which, the White House had already eliminated or shifted those positions, which focused on health care, the environment, the auto industry, and urban affairs, moving their functions within the president’s Domestic Policy Council.
But for good measure, the new spending bill again withholds funding for the following positions: director of the White House’s Office of Health Reform; the assistant to the president for energy and climate change; senior adviser to the Treasury secretary assigned to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and senior counsel for manufacturing policy; and director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs.
Still, Obama has said it’s within his authority to appoint such advisers. He issued a signing statement to accompany the April spending bill stating that Congress’s attempts at cutting funding infringed on the separation of powers.
Aponte: Life after recess?
Is the Senate going to try again to confirm Mari Carmen Aponte to be ambassador to El Salvador? We’re told it’s possible — despite a bitter blame game these days between the Democratic leadership and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Her nomination “is on life support,” one Senate aide says, but at least she doesn’t need to be renominated. Senate leaders could call another vote any time, though she still needs 60 votes. Leadership and members of the Foreign Relations Committee were said to be gauging support.