You have to wonder if new hires in the Obama Administration go through some sort of rigorous U.S. military SERE-style boot camp so that they won’t disclose information beyond name, rank, and serial number. They treat every interview like it’s an interrogation at the Hanoi Hilton (we’ll have to ask our Dear Leader if that was also inspired by our American Founders).
Case in point is Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. At the end of a contentious interview, Wallace asked Lew about his signature on the new five-dollar bill. He showed a picture of Lew’s infamous loopy signature that President Obama once joked looked like the icing on a Hostess Cupcake.
“I had never noticed Jack’s signature, and … when this was highlighted yesterday in the press, I considered rescinding my offer to appoint him,” Obama joked.
The president added that he’d like Lew to work on his penmanship.
“Jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency,” the president said.
Speculation abounded at the time about how that Hostess Cupcake icing signature would look on the American currency. The photo above shows a mock-up someone created suggesting what we might expect. The real deal isn’t nearly as fun (or tasty!) as a Hostess Cupcake.
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) June 18, 2013
In the Fox News interview, Wallace asked Lew, “So the questions I have are one, why’d you change your signature, and two, how did you change your signature?”
Lew non-answered, “Chris, I’ve been working on my handwriting for many decades and I obviously still have some more work to do.”
Wallace tried again: “But did you decide that’s not going to do for the currency of the United States? I’ve gotta have a different signature?”
Lew non-answered again, “Chris, I will confess to having a certain challenge with penmanship and I always do my best.”
Really, would it be so difficult to just say, “We thought it would look weird to have Hostess Cupcake icing on the five-dollar bill so I created a grown-up signature for the new currency.”
Why can’t these people give a straight answer on the simplest of questions? Evading seems as natural as breathing to them — as if they exist in a culture of subterfuge.
This sort of episode is minor on the grand scale of things, but it’s the sort of behavior that average Americans find maddening. We all desire to see admirable men and women leading us; silly evasions like this on completely inconsequential matters make us realize how far we’ve ventured from that standard.
[Begins at 15:27]