With the exception of a few hiccups like some apparent TurboTax typos, the cabinet appointments of the Obama administration have sailed through in calm waters. They have  at least had an easier time of things than it appears his first piece of legislation is going to. But as big names like Hillary Clinton, Timothy Geithner and Steven Chu mostly cruise into their new jobs, the post of Chief Technology Officer remains unfilled.

With the economy bleeding out like Mr. Orange, it’s understandable that filling a spanking new post like Lord High Nerd isn’t exactly a top priority for the new administration. Especially taking into account that no one seems to know exactly what a Chief Technology Officer will be responsible for in the coming administration.

Rolling out national broadband was once going to be part of the job description, but it’s gotten less and less play as foreclosure and unemployment rates continue to rise.  Job creation through technology is a qualification that’s getting bandied about more often, but that’s kind of a broad description, that could encompass anything from laying fiber-optic cable on up. Presumably, this appointee will be responsible for overseeing and organizing cybersecurity for the federal government, ensuring that the mad prophecies of Cory Doctorow do not come to pass. Oh, and they’ll also be on point for increased transparency and on-line availability of government documents.

So who’s going to be able to take on these many and varied duties? Vivek Kundra, the CTO of Washington, D.C. looks like the front runner as of today, but almost anyone who’s anyone in the tech sector has been said to be under consideration for the position. Even Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s name continues to come up regularly, despite his repeated, but always polite, turn downs.

That said, with the economy settling in for a nice long run in the tank, it might not be a bad time to bail on a tech company for a couple of years of respectable, high profile civil service or charity work. Just ask the recently retired Bill Gates.

The fact is, rather than the position dictating who will be appointed, the ultimate appointee will likely dictate what direction the post takes. For better or worse, that may make a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, whose interests and expertise dovetail better with the business community the most reasonable pick for the incoming administration. So, to everyone who was waiting for free city wide wi-fi and expansion of broadband resources to under served rural communities… well, don’t hold your well intentioned breath, folks.

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