On the heels of nominating former Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) to replace nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz as Secretary of Energy, President-elect Donald Trump bragged that his cabinet had the highest IQ by far of any cabinet ever assembled, “We have by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.”
Watch here via ABC News:
Pres.-elect Donald Trump on his cabinet: "We have by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled." pic.twitter.com/czBpZ4cNMD
— ABC News (@ABC) January 19, 2017
“The Energy Department is, at its core, a science and technology agency,” Moniz explained in the final episode of season 1 of Direct Current.
The Washington Post explained a bit about Moniz’s background when he was nominated, “a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also lends Obama’s Cabinet scientific heft and brings prior Washington experience. At MIT, he has directed the school’s Energy Initiative, where he oversaw reports on almost every aspect of energy. And he has been a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.”
Whereas Rick Perry once wanted to abolish the entire department. He claims he said that before he understood what the department did:
“My past statements, made over five years ago, about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”
Making a statement as definitive as calling for abolishing an entire department before one knows what that department does is not exactly encouraging regarding Perry’s intellectual and scientific rigor.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about the IQ of the people he has appointed; he cares that they “look” the part, as he has explained in the past. Trump looks for people who look like they came from central casting.
This explains his pick of Perry, who wears the “smart” Rachel Maddow glasses now.
It also explains Trump’s constant Clint Eastwood squint and his furrowed brow pose when trying to look presidential. People who are smart furrow their brow, so Trump furrows his. Now he’s smart too.
Donald Trump seems, in fact, to have gone out of his way to pick people who know nothing about the position for which he has nominated them. This might go back to Trump’s central casting idea, since he picked a black person (Dr. Ben Carson) to run Housing and Urban Development, and it could also be that Trump didn’t want anyone around him to know more than he did about doing their jobs. He is known for not wanting anyone in his entourage to get more or better press than he is.
Only a fool would declare that his cabinet had the highest IQ by far of any cabinet, because a person with a high IQ would want proof of that statement. Even if his cabinet did have the highest IQ ever, that wouldn’t help them much as they were tossed into the deep end in jobs they know nothing about. It could be argued, in fact, that a smart person wouldn’t do that to themselves, and would value expertise.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.