Monday, November 22, 2004

More on the Cabinet

Powerline has a post last evening taking Andrew Sullivan to task for excessive criticism of the President's nominations for Cabinet positions. Here's a quote from Sullivan's piece:

It is not a sign of real strength that you banish alternative views from your internal deliberations or surround yourself with people who owe their entire careers to your patronage.
I am not aware of anything in Sullivan's past that would allow him to have witnessed these "internal deliberations" in person. I have a very small amount of direct experience with White House deliberations a few levels below the ones in question. I gained a tremendous respect for most of the (Special and Deputy) Assistants to the President and their staffs, particularly those on the NEC, NSC, and DPC with whom I worked most closely. I think Sullivan has overstated his case. (But I still read him faithfully!)

Promoting from within does not equal "banishing alternative views." I posted last week on the main advantage of the President's strategy--that it may allow the Administration to better utilize the considerable expertise located in the Cabinet departments--while recognizing the drawback that it does little to draw in additional alternative views in the second term.

And now for the history lesson. Guess the number of times the Cabinet is mentioned in the Constitution, and then check your answer here.

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