Where are Cabinetmembers recruited from?Are serving or retiredmembers more likely?Obama pickedTom Vilsack,Iowa asSecretary ofAgricultureGovernors or ex-governorsBig city mayorsClinton appointedFrederico Pena,Dallas, asTransportSecretaryAcademiaObama appointedProfessor ofPhysics StevenChu as EnergySecretaryCongressHillaryClinton
Cabinet• Article II “the President may require theopinion in writing of the principal officer in eachof the executive departments upon any subjectrelating to the duties of their respective offices”.PICK OUT FOUR KEY DIFFERENCES WITH YOURUNDERSTANDING OF UK CABINET MEETINGS
• ‘may’• ‘opinions’• ‘in writing’• ‘upon any subject relating to the duties of theirrespective offices’Why have cabinet meetings at all then? Washingtonthought it would be helpful to have meetings with theSecretaries of War, Treasury and State. Every Presidentsince then has had one. ‘It is institutionalised by usagealone’ (Fenno 1959). In other words, it is used becauseit is used.
Balanced Cabinet• Geographically. Bush’s first Cabinet had representatives fromRockies, the South, Upper Mid-West, East Coast & West Coast.• Race. Every President since Nixon has picked an ethnically diverseCabinet. Bush’s most diverse ever (Norman Mineta Japanese-American, Spencer Abraham Lebenese-American, and Elaine Chao,Chinese American)• Gender. Reagan faced criticism for appointing no women as head ofdepartments.• Age. Generally reflects the age of the President, JFK had youngestCabinet ever (av. 47). Bush broke this rule with an average age of 58(Rumsfeld etc).• Ideology. Should represent all wings of the party. Bush’s Cabinetseemed more ‘compassionate’ than ‘conservative (with the exceptionof John Ashcroft – Attorney General). Mineta was a formerDemocratic Congressman.