What are the most significant factors that influence a president in choosing a cabinet?
There are many factors that may influence presidents choices when it’s comes to a cabinet and balancing it. Most of these factors are for face value to show to congress and the public what a role model in fairness and leadership the president is. There is only one factor that actually makes logical sense in running a country and not for political gain. This factor being that a president will appoint people that hold specialised knowledge in a specific area of policy that will relate to a cabinet position.
These experts may be sourced for universities as both Obama and Bush Jr. found university professors to be cabinet members. These being Rod Paige as Secretary of Education in 2001 and Steven Chu, a physics professor at UC Berkley, as secretary of energy in 2009. This way of ...view middle of the document...
At the time of Clinton, if he wasn’t vice president, Al Gore would have probably been Secretary for Energy due to his highly valued expertise in energy and the environment.
The other predominant factors are to try and balance the overall views given in the executive branches head figures. This may be done though giving political minorities positions within the cabinet. One of these political minorities being ethnicity, this being quiet important in the Obama administration due to the fact that we have a president who resides within an ethnic minority of the states. The idea, however, was first introduced with L. Johnson appointing Robert Weaver, an African-American, to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 1966. Obama has within his cabinet a range of minorities from African-Americans to Hispanics and even appointing Japanese and Lebanese Americans as cabinet secretaries. The main time since L. Johnson has there been a fully white cabinet was with Richard Nixon in 1969 in which he was heavily criticised for. Another balancing factor is that of political ideology to get some balanced and wide opinions. Sometimes, a president will even employ a member of a different political party to widen the cabinet to opposition. This happened with the second term of Clinton as he appointed former senator William Cohen as Secretary for defence even though he was a republican.
Finally, the other main significant factor of choosing cabinet members is to strengthen it ties with congress by employing members of the senate and house. Obama included three incumbent congress members, the main person being his presidential running opponent, Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State. This being said, a president is more likely to recruit a congress member who has either just retired or retired recently because you are more likely to be turned down by an incumbent member as with congress there is a set time to your term unless impeached, where as in the cabinet, the president has the power to hire and fire as and when they want.