DOT chief’s unwise Fox News star turn

From an editorial published Monday in the (Raleigh) News & Observer:

N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata has made a nice living from his status as a retired brigadier general.

Now Tata is working his one-star again. In addition to running a major state department with a $4 billion budget and some 12,000 employees, he has found time to be a regular commentator on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show and to write military thrillers on the side. On Fox, Tata regularly criticizes the Obama administration’s policies regarding the Middle East.

Why Hannity is turning to Tata for wisdom on the Middle East is baffling. Tata has no special insight into the region.

And a larger question is why Tata would choose to give it. For a former general, this seems a basic strategic mistake. More than a quarter of North Carolina’s transportation funding comes from the federal government. A state transportation secretary who makes it a practice to go on TV and blast the president for endangering the nation probably is not improving his state’s chances of receiving discretionary federal funding.

Apparently Tata sees his livelihood as being both a secretary of transportation and a retired general. He’s North Carolina’s own Secretary General.