And Good Riddance?
The champagne corks were popping at the Agency for International Development late Friday upon news that administrator Randall Tobias had resigned. President Bush's polls may be low, but he can take solace that Tobias's popularity amongst the rank-and-file was even lower.
Tobias had resigned in yet another incident of inappropriate massaging. There was Bush's quick shoulder massage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July at a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. In November came news of Colorado minister Ted Haggard's massages with a Denver man. And now Tobias, with an escort service.
A recent American Foreign Service Association poll of 368 AID folks found that only 21 percent thought Tobias had been doing a good job in getting resources for the agency and its workers. One-third rated his efforts as poor and 45 percent described them as fair.
The agency is going through a reorganization that many call a "stealth merger" with the State Department. The survey found 67 percent said overall work conditions were worsening. About 48 percent said morale was "low to poor" and only 12 percent said it was good. One person, perhaps a bit ahead of the curve, thought morale was excellent.
The massage is the message?
Thus writes Al Kamen in The Washington Post.
And, of local interest, there's this in the Taking Down Words blog.
According to Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, "Randall L. Tobias, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator will address the 2007 J.D. and LL.M. graduating classes on Sunday, May 13 at the Indiana Convention Center."
Will he? The bets are running against a public appearance so soon after his fall from grace!
And, although there was NOTHING in The Indianapolis Star about l'affair Tobias today, there's a delicious romp around the subject in Wonkette:
"So, after we had had signed off on Friday to go talk over the day’s events with some vodka, it apparently came to light that Randall L. Tobias’ awfully suspicious retirement was awfully suspicious for good reason—he was up to his chin in Central American call-girls, courtesy of the one-day-will-tell-all DC madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey. This should have been apparent—no one just retires by choice."
Over at Salon, there's this:
Next time, try Domino's
Confronted with the fact that his name and phone number appeared on a list of clients of "D.C. madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias told ABC News that arranging for women to visit his condo was like ordering pizza.
What it wasn't like: The behavior Tobias pushed through an abstinence-first program and an anti-prostitution pledge while working as George W. Bush's global AIDS coordinator.
Tobias, who is married, resigned Friday for "personal reasons." He's insisting that there was "no sex" involved when "gals" would "come over to the condo to give me a massage." -- Tim Grieve
A second posting on Wonkette today:
"Our network of operatives are always watching. One such tipster offers a little background into Randall Tobias’ past:
"The resignation of Deputy Secretary of State Randy Tobias, for being a client of a DC escort service, came as no surprise to me. Randy was a department head in Marketing at AT&T in the early 80’s and we worked together. It was common knowledge at the time that he was a womanizer. One day we had a new female member of our project team and I was quietly told that until recently she had been a secretary. Randy had promoted her to so she could accompany him on business trips."