Sunday, August 14, 2011

41 Days Until the New Election: Double Cup of Joe Edition

A Double Dose of Joe
Joe Crittenden was sworn in this afternoon as Deputy Chief, and then later Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. 

According to the Tulsa World, Crittenden laid out a very ambitious agenda for his few weeks as head man, including starting new housing programs, increasing scholarship funding and more funding for elder care.

The Cherokee Nation’s web site had a news release, which quoted Crittenden as saying: 

“Although my tenure as Principal Chief may be brief, I have been entrusted with the momentous responsibilities of this office,” said Crittenden. “I vow to always do the right thing for the right reason.”
Joe Crittenden, who was sworn in as Deputy Chief,
and then acting Principal Chief earlier today.
Of course, Crittenden, who was Deputy Chief for about 15 minutes today, will go back to being Deputy Chief sometime after September 24.  The duties of Principal Chief will either revert back to Chad Smith or Bill John Baker will take over.  And, not surprisingly, both candidates had something to say about today’s festivities. 
On Smith’s facebook page, he had a statement that read in part: “Today is another example of the strength of the Cherokee Nation.  We have an orderly transition of power, despite a contentious and unresolved election.  Joe Crittenden takes up the serious job of leading our Nation, and I stand ready to help him.  Serving the Cherokee people has been my life’s work, and I won’t stop just because my term has ended.”

Baker, for his part, said: "Today is a great day for the Cherokee people. With Joe Crittenden sworn in as acting Chief we are taking the first step in moving our Nation from good to great. Chief Crittenden is one of the most honorable and kind men I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friend, and I cannot think of a better steward for the Cherokee Nation while we wait for the next election."

So the Cherokee Nation finally has a new Chief, at least for a few weeks, and our tribal council is two members short, with Crittenden off the council for the next four years, and Meredith Frailey taking the oath of office to temporarily fill the Deputy Chief’s position.  That ought to make any radical changes of course difficult, but not impossible, and Crittenden does seem to be ready to try to make his mark in these few weeks that he’s the Chief.  Let’s all hope for the best for Mr. Crittenden and the Cherokee Nation during this time.