"President-elect Obama made a commitment to change the way Washington does business, and the vetting process exemplifies that."
-- Obama transition-team spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, explaining the seven-page questionnaire with 63 separate requests for personal and professional records.
* Please provide certified copies of all state and federal tax returns filed for you, your spouse and all members of your immediate family for the past 15 years. For each of these years, please also provide annual statements of all holdings in stocks, bonds, commodities and "cash on hand" exceeding $5,000, and full documentation of all transactions within any of these categories during this period.
* It's getting brutal out there, isn't it?
* Think we could borrow a little until April or so?
* Please provide full documentation of all judicial procedures, whether adjudicated, abandoned, settled, or still pending, to which you or any immediate family members, or their spouses or children, have ever been a party.
* Does your back hurt from moving all those boxes in your basement?
* Didn't she tell you you needed a better filing system?
* Please provide complete job descriptions -- including duties, salary, and full names and contact information for all immediate supervisors -- of all jobs you have held in the past 10 years. If you have left any job(s) during that period, please provide a complete explanation of the reason(s) for your departure.
* Please do better than "I wanted to spend more time with my family." We're not idiots.
* How much do you really know about that brother-in-law of yours?
* When did you realize that Barack was The One? Provide exact month, day, and year of your enlightenment, and the names of at least two (2) witnesses.
* Which of Barack's books do you admire most, and why?
* Michelle's Election Night dress: Edgy or Embarrassing?
* Tell us about the bank robbery.
* Have you or any member of your immediate family ever owned a gun? If so, please describe the make and model of each gun owned by each family member, and provide the original, or a certified copy, of the purchase receipt for each gun. In addition, please provide dated receipts for all ammunition purchased for each gun in the past six (6) years. Provide the date and time each gun has been fired during that period, as well as a complete explanation of the circumstances that occasioned the firing of the gun. If the gunfire resulted in physical injury to the shooter or to any other party, please provide full medical records, including hospital admission forms, doctors' diagnoses, surgical procedures undergone (if any) and current status of the injured party.
* Worried yet?
* Just between us, what do you really think of Hillary?
* To ensure accuracy and prevent retrospective job inflation, please provide copies of all resumes or biographical statements you have prepared in the past 12 years, whether or not these documents were ever distributed to prospective employers. If you called yourself a Paper Clip Clerk" in 2002, don't be telling us you were a "Special Assistant for Office Materiel."
* Please provide links to all photographs of you or immediate family members posted on the internet during the past eight (8) years, whether posed or candid.
* Aren't you forgetting something?
* Does the name "Stanley" ring a bell?
* Do you have a clue about digging us out of this mess?
* Is Africa a continent or a country?
* That thing with the receptionist...?
* Is your current job looking better all the time?
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Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.