Clifton Locey is a trained seal, according to Eddie Willers (18.104.22.168). We think this is a great description. Clifton, who is appointed to Dagny's job after she temporarily quits, is clearly a moron. If the relatively mild-mannered Eddie is calling him a trained seal, we know he has to be pretty bad.
Clifton is a pal of James's, which is a strike against him. He's also the one who sends out the initial order to send the Taggart Comet through the tunnel as fast as possible with "whatever" engine is available. Consummate looter that he is, Clifton words the order so that Dave Mitchum will understand he is to use the coal engine. But the order is also vague enough that Clifton can't be blamed for anything that goes wrong. Clifton quickly runs off after sending the order so that no one can contact him for a follow-up.