Keep To the Script, Folks
Ahh, you gotta love Washington and the games they play in that fair city along the Potomac. While Dubya nominated Mary Bomar to succeed Fran as the Park Service's next director, the administration doesn't want people talking about her until she's confirmed.
Here's the official word sent out to the ranks from the agency's Washington HQ:
"Keep in mind that Mary Bomar will not be doing any press or news media interviews prior to her confirmation hearings," Park Service spokesman David Barna said in the memo. "The following is a statement you can use with the news media:
"'The men and women of the National Park Service are delighted that the president has chosen a member of our family to serve as director.' "
Is the state of the Park Service so sensitive or classified that Ms. Bomar can't reveal her views on the agency and the park system, or that the rank-and-file needs to be told how to respond when asked about her nomination? Staying on message is one thing, but this seems a bit over the top.
Personally, I'd like to know a little bit more about her background. True, she's been the Northeast regional director since July 2005, and from 2003 until then she was superintendent of Independence National Historical Park (kind of ironic, don't you think, with her British birthright) in Philadelphia.
And prior to that assignment Ms. Bomar was the first superintendent of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Park Service's first Oklahoma state coordinator, acting superintendent at Rocky Mountain National Park, and assistant superintendent at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. And she began her Park Service career as chief of administration at Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas.
She seems to have a good background in the administrative underpinnings of the Park Service, but some might question her experience and familiarity with on-the-ground, out-in-the-parks law enforcement, interpretive and resource management issues. I guess we'll just have to wait until the confirmation hearings to glean some insight into her experience in those years.
Too, I'm kinda curious about her previous career with the Defense Department. According to the Park Service, Ms. Bomar worked in an unspecified "managerial capacity" for the DOD.