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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Romney v. the 'Bureaucrats'

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Mary Altaffer/AP

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney ran into some microphone trouble at a campaign stop in Colorado on Tuesday. He promptly used the opportunity for a jab at his fall opponent at the expense of the image of federal workers.

“I think the Obama administration worked on it,” Romney joked about the faulty mic. “These batteries were made by Washington, D.C., bureaucrats, I can tell.”

The very next day, the subject of federally produced batteries was raised, coincidentally, by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute. “If we could get …a higher energy density battery, we would pay a lot for it, more than you would pay to put it in your flashlight,” Carter said. “And that would be a perfectly legitimate investment for our troops” because it would be lighter to carry.

It was an example, Carter said, of how research and development, though done foremost to meet defense needs, can have commercial spinoff potential down the line.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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