WE GOT IT WRONG about Patricia Harris the other day. Complimenting the HUD-HEW secretary for dignity above and beyond the call of duty, we noted her sturdy defense of those subordinates she was asked to evaluate and her contemptous dismissal of any suggestion that they were either disloyal or incompetent or that it was necessary to check up on their daily time of arrival at the office.
So far, so good. But then we went on to repeat the false report that she had actually declined to fill in any part of the forms. Wrong. Mrs. Harris has said she had no objection to filling in, in a routine way, the less objectionable and more ordinary personnel-form features of the document, once she had established the point about loyalty, competence and demeaning timecard checks. It was not she, but Secretary Blumenthal who, in his resonant usage, "deep-sixed" the forms, as did Secretaries Adams and Califano. Secretar Schlesinger's, as of yesterday, were still overdue and presumed missing. Mr. Schlesinger does not intend to send them back. Attorney General Bell, according to his press aide, has filled out his, except for the question about political savvy which he deemed inapplicable and after having got Hamilton Jordan's approval to exempt 95 U.S. attorneys.
And where does this leave our own evaluations? On the scale of 1-to-6 that is the administration's standard, we would give Mrs. Harris a mere 4 for having partially completed the forms and a 7 for having publicly aired her views on the leading questions. That, according to the old math, anyway, leaves her with 5.5, down from 6. For having failed to get all these distinctions straight in the first place, we would give ourselves an incompetent, unsavvy, sleeps-in-till-eleven 2.