The Washington Post

A little help for Clinton


Hillary Clinton’s next chapter will have chapters of its own. The former secretary of state has said she plans to pen a memoir about her wild ride as the nation’s top diplomat.

And since she’s indicated that she’d like to take it just a little bit easier in retirement than she has in the past four jet-setting years, we thought Loop fans could help her out by coming up with a title for her memoir.

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

Make her work just a little easier, you know?

So send us your very best book-title suggestions — no more than two entries per person, please — and our five favorites will win a coveted Loop T-shirt. Just send them via e-mail by the end of the day Feb. 8 to intheloop@
, and be sure to provide your name, profession, mailing address, phone number and T-shirt size (M, L or XL), in case you’re a winner.

Don’t forget that phone number: You must include one to be eligible.

(Congressional and administration types may enter “on background.”)

Need inspiration? Our colleague Ann Gerhart suggested this: “Bob Barnett Made Me Do It,” a reference to the superagent/lawyer who famously handles all the blockbuster book deals for the political elite. We liked her suggestion so much that we promptly drafted her as a member of our august panel of judges.

For reference, Clinton’s other books have included “It Takes a Village” and “Living History” — and let’s not forget the classic “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets.”)

We’re confident Loop Fans can do better.

Where green is green

The search for a new interior secretary may be coming down to a battle between two women from Washington state.

Enviros have been buzzing this week about a new candidate said to be in the mix for the job: Sally Jewell , head of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), the hugely successful and eminently green outdoor-outfitting company headquartered in Kent, Wash.

The enviros — especially the climbers, bikers and hikers — think she’s terrific and certainly has the recreational aspect of the job covered, in addition to having a stunning record as a businesswoman.

And it seems Jewell has been on the White House radar for some time, having introduced President Obama two years ago at a White House conference on “America’s Great Outdoor Initiative.” She noted that the $289 billion outdoor-recreation industry is the source of 6.5 million jobs.

But some enviros worry that she lacks the political experience and broad knowledge of the issues confronting the sprawling department. Its responsibilities include management of public lands; oil, gas and timber production; fish and wildlife; tribal lands; and federal policy on places such as Guam, the Northern Marianas and Samoa.

“She comes unencumbered by experience” in the political arena, one veteran enviro noted. On the other hand, maybe that’s not such a bad thing, thinking outside the box and all that.

The other Washington state woman in the mix for Interior is said to be former governor Chris Gregoire, who is also mentioned for a couple other Cabinet jobs.

Meanwhile, Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, former president of Colorado State University at Pueblo, is said to be a leading candidate for secretary of labor, Reuters reported Thursday.

Darn technology

Irony alert!

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has long faced criticism by enviros that it doesn’t do enough to engage the public in its decision-making process.

So the commission does what seems to be the right thing and holds a public forum to discuss the matter. It invites testimony from its staff, industry representatives and advocates for the public to come and talk about the ways Joe and Jane Six-Pack can get more involved in the agency’s work.

Sounds like a good time. But the webcast, which was supposed to beam the proceedings to a global audience, failed.

So the very public that the agency was talking about engaging couldn’t, well, engage. That wasn’t lost on the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has pushed for more transparency and engagement. (In testimony for that forum, they called the NRC “a medieval fortress, surrounded by a wide and deep moat of rules to keep unruly citizens at bay.”)

“If you’re going to talk about public engagement, that’s something that people should be able to watch,” said NRDC spokesman Jake Thompson.

NRC spokesman David McIntyre met our inquiry about the webcast failure with a sigh. “We make every effort to be open and transparent,” he said. “Unfortunately, the technology isn’t perfect.” The contractor who handles the streaming had a server failure, McIntyre said. Finally they were able to switch servers, but by then the meeting was almost over.

The whole thing is now archived on the NRC’s Web site.

Let’s hope the NRC’s other contractors — ones who might be more directly involved with the nation’s nuclear safety, for instance — don’t have similar technical foul-ups.

Gomer’s a goner

We reported back on Nov. 26 that Agency for International Development general counsel Lisa Gomer was moved out of her office in late summer and given some sort of “special” assignment.

The lawyers working for Gomer, a Harvard Law School classmate of President Obama’s, were told not to talk to her about her work, and the agency clammed up when we called.

Turns out Gomer was under investigation by the USAID inspector general’s office over an allegation that she may have “wired” a consulting contract last May for the agency’s retiring chief financial officer, David Ostermeyer. (The contract was canceled.)

Gomer was “reassigned” on Aug. 20, our colleague Josh Hicks reports, and she resigned from the agency a couple of weeks ago — though she’ll be there through this week.

With Emily Heil

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the State Department inspector general’s office conducted the investigation involving Lisa Gomer.

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. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.

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