President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry ... to be secretary of energy, two sources familiar with the transition process told NBC News on Monday night.Perry, a rival of Trump's during the Republican presidential nominating campaign, met with Trump for about 90 minutes earlier in the day at Trump Tower in New York.
Towards the beginning of the Republican presidential nominating process last year, Donald Trump and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) didn't quite see eye to eye. Trump, for example, said of Perry in July 2015, "He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate." A week later, Trump added, "He put on glasses so people think he's smart. People can see through the glasses."Apparently, however, Perry is smart enough to join Trump's cabinet.
It's quite an evolution for the former governor. During his presidential candidacy last year, Perry went further than nearly anyone in condemning Trump, calling the television personality "a barking carnival act" who represents a "cancer on conservatism," and who would send the Republican Party to the "graveyard."Less than a year later, however, the Texan started hinting that he was looking for a job on Trump's team.But what's especially noteworthy about this story isn't just Perry's likely role in Trump's cabinet, but the specific post to which he'll be nominated.I suspect much of the country remembers Perry's "oops" moment. During his first presidential campaign, the Texas Republican participated in a debate in November 2011 in which he tried to list the cabinet agencies he'd eliminate if elected. He mentioned the Departments of Commerce and Education, but couldn't remember that he also wanted to scrap the Department of Energy.Perry, in other words, will now lead a federal agency he doesn't think should exist. And as we discussed the other day, during Trump's transition process, this keeps happening.Jeff Sessions is Trump's choice for Attorney General despite his record of hostility towards civil rights.Betsy DeVos is Trump's choice for Education Secretary despite her opposition towards public schools.Ben Carson is Trump's choice for Housing and Urban Development Secretary despite his hostility towards the Fair Housing Act.Tom Price is Trump's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary despite his opposition to programs that provide health security to millions of Americans.Andrew Puzder is Trump's choice for Labor Secretary despite his contempt for labor laws.Scott Pruitt is Trump's choice to lead the EPA despite Pruitt vow to fight the agency's policy agenda.This is not an encouraging pattern.* Postscript: I've seen some suggestions that because Perry was governor of a state with a lot of oil drilling, the Energy Department is a logical choice. Perhaps now would be a good time to note that this isn't what the Energy Department does.