If Mike Michaud is confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a Department of Defense position overseeing veterans’ employment and training, he will join a select company of quadruple-dippers – those who collect income from four different sources: salary from his new job (undisclosed); a pension from his years of employment at Great Northern Paper; a pension from his concurrent Maine Legislature/paper-mill duties; and a generous pension with perks from his congressional incumbency.

And if he’s still on the job after two years, he will be eligible to collect monthly Social Security checks at age 62, gaining admittance to the exclusive club of quintuple-dippers.

It’s surprising (or is it?) that President Obama didn’t appoint a qualified, combat-experienced veteran of the armed services to this desirable position.

Perhaps, in a gesture expressive of the Marine Corps motto, “Semper fidelis” (“Always faithful”), the president recognized Michaud’s faithful, lockstep marching to the tune of the Democratic Party drummer, and rewarded him with this choice political plum – a reminder of what was once called “the spoils system.”

It’s hard to put your finger on the contributions of Michaud – a 12-year member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs – to overhauling a broken veterans’ health care system that further deteriorated during his watch.

Mike, as well-wishers typically say to actors before a performance, “Break a leg!”

Walter J. Eno