The media is abuzz today because they have discovered a few memos that Bullock received from his staff, advising him on how to handle the press in the lead-up to the appointment of John Walsh to fill Max Baucus’s seat. In the memos, Bullock is advised not to be drawn into having to explain himself before the actual appointment, but to wait until after Walsh is appointed to explain his choice to the press. And these documents also show that Bullock had made up his mind about Walsh a week or so before appointing him.
The Republicans have seized the story and are trying to claim that this is a major revelation of wrongdoing or mischief. And the press believes, without explanation, that it is newsworthy that Bullock receives strategic advice from the people who work for him.
All of this is very silly. First, Bullock was allowed to make his personal decision how and when he chose, and share it at a time, and in a manner, of his choosing. True, memos on political strategy should be written sparingly (or perhaps created orally) so that the press and opponents cannot make hay over them precisely like they are now doing. But this story is nothing more than a way for the press to make a big deal about very little. The fact that a governor is getting advice on paper from his staff is nothing new or unusual and the advice was pretty sound. And no, contrary to what the GOP seems to think, Bullock did not violate any law, rule, or public trust by making his decision in private and revealing it on the day that he made the announcement.