Among the various forms of unethical conduct, incompetence is often the one most difficult to assess objectively and fairly. In order to set a baseline standard for what constitutes indisputable incompetence in the performance of professional duties, I offer this, the recent appearance of “senior press representative” Healy Baumgardner on CNN with Carol Costello.
I know it’s hard to watch. Just brace yourself, and hold on. It will be over before you know it.
Healy, I think you will agree, makes Marco Rubio’s disastrous stuck-needle performance (Millennials: Once upon a time, recordings were played on these things called “record” by means of a “needle” on the arm of a “record player,” and a scratch would make the needle…oh, forget it.) during a debate cross-examination by Chris Christie look like deft repartee by comparison.
Fair conclusions to be drawn from this horror show include…
She was completely unprepared for the interview.
She can’t think on her feet.
She’s not very bright.
Her communications skills are rudimentary for a receptionist, and disgraceful for an alleged press representative.
Donald Trump will hire an idiot as long as she’s young and attractive.
It is ironic that Trump put poor, pathetic Healy on CNN the same day he released his current list of potential Supreme Court appointees. Trump keeps saying that he’d appoint “the best people,” but the only evidence of what he considers “the best” is objectively frightening. His media spokespersons, all of them, say idiotic things with the regularity of an assembly line. Now we have Healy Baumgardner. The unrelenting ineptitude of the people Trump allows to be his public face in the media once had me convinced that he was intentionally insulting CNN et al. and trying to annoy their audiences. What other explanation could there be?
Well, maybe he thinks this is an example of a competent professional. Think about that. Can you imagine Healy Baumgardner as the White House spokesperson?
The incompetent Baumgardner is just one more smoking gun indicator of how incompetent—and also careless, arrogant, untrustworthy—Trump is, not that it matters to his supporters, because they are angry and he speaks his mind and political correctness! To more competent voters, however, this should raise questions about who, or what, he would consider as a competent Secretary of State or Defense, especially since no one who is competent is likely to want to be part of the most disastrous experiment in Government By Fool in U.S. history.
I wonder why he hired Healy. Hmmmm. What could it be? By the way, she has appeared in public before, but always without those glasses, which I will bet came from the Trump prop department in the wake of the New York Times story about Trump’s obsession with his female employees’ ratings on the “VavaVOOM!” scale. “Here, Healy, these will make you look smart.”
I checked her resume on LinkedIn, expecting to find that Trump found her working at a Dairy Queen, but no. She has lots of experience:
A leading strategic communications advisor, spokesperson and public affairs executive, Healy E. Baumgardner has served in high-profile positions in the public and private sectors worldwide encompassing the energy, environmental, gaming, litigation, media relations and national security arenas, among others. Healy has served as a Senior Press Official at The White House, as Press Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and as a Deputy Communications Director for Mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as a strategic communications professional and chief spokesperson for Fortune 500, energy industry and start up companies, including spearheading financial communications initiatives on Wall Street and other markets. She has worked with foreign heads of state, senior staffs, governments, official delegations and media spanning every continent. Healy’s on-the-record experience includes local, regional, national, international and trade print, television, radio and internet mediums…
So now we know what kind of quality our tax dollars is paying for in all of these bureaucracies, don’t we? We also know why those bureaucracies perform as well as they do. If a dolt like Healy Baumgardner can survive for two weeks at any government job, much less be put on live television to speak for a loomimg Presidential nomination, then some quality other than ability, intellect, and diligence is valued higher than the traditional components of professional competence.
While I’m at it, let me point to the willingness of other, perhaps more respectable professionals to mislead potential employers and inflict Healy’s lack of talent and skill on them. Her LinkedIn profile includes accolades from Jeff Berkowitz, “Competitive intelligence & opposition research for companies, campaigns and causes,” who writes,
“Healy is a consummate and knowledgeable professional…”
No, she’s obviously not. No consummate and knowledgeable professional would ever deliver a performance on TV like Baumgardner’s. Okay, a consummate and knowledgeable professional Starbucks barista maybe. Then there is Jorge Martinez, “Idea Catalyst, Ambassador of Buzz, Disruptor of the Status Quo,” who says,
“Healy Baumgardner is one of the most effective communications strategist (sic) in the country. She provides first-rate strategic counsel to clients that must speak with clarity and purpose…”
To be fair, I can see where someone who expressed himself like this guy might actually think Healy is a whiz.
Baumgardner’s miserable failure on CNN also betrays and embarrasses these allies, although they deserve to be embarrassed.
But I digress. The point is that this is professional incompetence.
And apparently, Donald Trump thinks it’s perfectly fine, and good enough for the American people.