James, I agree in part and have a few additional thoughts. First, no executive has a free hand in getting in the judges he wants. In both state and federal systems the executive is not free to install his choices unilaterally; however, for each and every candidate a Governor or President sends up or recommends he bears the responsibility to vet thoroughly. It is unseemly to say the least to say “not my fault” when things go wrong. This is especially true in this case, when Romney touted Tuttman specifically, in large part as you suggest for affirmative action reasons. Second, as the details emerge it may be that Tuttman did nothing improper and that based on the law and facts presented by the prosecutors she acted as required by law. That is what the former head of the Massachusetts Bar is suggesting. If that is the case then this is the proverbial “throw her under the bus” phenomenon and Romney should have been brave enough and demonstrated the leadership qualities to get the facts first and if justified stand by his judge. Finally, this is precisely why executives should NEVER make nominations or tout nominations for affirmative action reasons –it forever taints the nominee and the nominating executive, calling into question the merits of the former and the judgment of the latter.
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