And another thing...


President George W. Bush needed less time to speak to the press about his management agenda than Secretariat needed to set the Kentucky Derby record at Churchill Downs in 1973.

Bush, who last week held his annual President's Management Council meeting to discuss the President's Management Agenda, invited the press in to hear his comments about one of the most unheralded pieces of his administration's agenda.

It was a pretty big moment for those of us who pay attention to the PMA.

For 1 minute, 52 seconds, Bush held forth on the importance of getting results for taxpayers' money, and promised agencies will continue to shut down programs that are not working and enhance those that are.

And before we knew it, he was done, and we were being ushered out of Room 350 of the Old Executive Office Building.

It's not that we expected him to drone on for 20 minutes, but 1:52 is barely enough to get warmed up. (Secretariat needed 1:59 to wheeze across the finish line. Heck, half the red lights in the Washington metro area last longer.) He took no questions and seemed to hit the typical buzzwords of the PMA. It might have been nice to ask
a question or two, especially about the push-back the Hill is giving the management agenda, specifically e-government and the Performance Assessment Rating Tool.

But at least our brush with Bush presented the chance to help the national press gain some understanding of what the PMA is. Their interest in it was summed up by one conversation we overheard between two national press correspondents:
'Why are we here?'

'Some management thing.'

Goes to show how much work the administration still needs to do in educating more than just Congress.


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