Why Burris, Panetta, Franken Are Just Like Us

They're willing and able to work--but obstacles are in their way.


According to the Labor Department, more than 10 million Americans are trying to find jobs and want to work, but some obstacle is standing in their way. The obvious roadblock is the recession and its destruction of available jobs. But things like poorly written resumes, lack of relevant experience, and seriously mistaken interpretations of corporate culture are also holding some people up.

So it may only be appropriate that we start 2009 with a similar scene in Washington--three people who are willing and able to work, but facing significant obstacles on their way to starting the job.

Roland Burris won't get seated until the Illinois secretary of state signs off on his appointment. No such luck today. Al Franken won't be seated until litigation is completed and his competitor Norm Coleman is promising a courtroom battle.

Even Leon Panetta, Obama's pick to head up the CIA, is expected to face some roadblocks.

Bloomberg reports that the top Democrats on the Senate intelligence panel, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, have said they weren't given a heads up about Panetta and seem to have reservations.

From Bloomberg:

Feinstein said she wants an “intelligence professional” in the post. Rockefeller also expressed concern about Panetta’s lack of experience, his aide said.

While these Washington job seekers no doubt face tricky paths to employment, they're no doubt fortunate to have at least found openings.


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