Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rearranging The Drawers

Annnnd back to politics.

The first thing winner-and-still-President Obama is slated to be dealing with in his second term is supposed to be the 'fiscal cliff'- a set of big spending cuts and tax increases and Bush tax-cut expirations that, if nothing is done, will take effect on January 1st.

There is one bit of business that may throw off Obama's attention a tad while that happens, though: a Cabinet exodus.

A fairly recent development in the life of a President- it only really got going with Richard Nixon- is the Cabinet turnover that occurs between terms. People have their own reasons for leaving- sometimes disagreement with the President but hanging in to help him win the second term, sometimes personal reasons, sometimes the President essentially fires them- but it happens. Obama's aware of this; his Cabinet shuffle is reportedly already in the works, and it's slated to be a big one. There haven't been any exits yet, but don't be surprised when people start getting herded out the door.

So today let's go over the history of that. What you're going to see are the various Presidents who dealt with an interim period between terms. That means Presidents who were re-elected as well as ascendant Presidents who then won election in their own right (but does not include Grover Cleveland and his nonconsecutive terms). Alongside each President will be a listing of the size of their Cabinet, and every Cabinet position that went vacant within the first six months of their re-election, including those vacated by Cabinet officers that merely switched posts within the Cabinet (which does happen once in a while). We're using Election Day as the start date, so if Obama were to go on this list, we'd be counting his Cabinet departures between now and May 6.

One word of note: although Vice Presidents are Cabinet-level, we're not counting them.

Here's a Cabinet directory, if you need one.

George Washington: Four Cabinet positions, no changes

Thomas Jefferson: Five Cabinet positions, one change
*Attorney General Levi Lincoln Sr. out, John Breckenridge in (after Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith served as interim)

James Madison: Five Cabinet positions, two changes
*Secretary of War William Eustis out, John Armstrong Jr. in
*Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton out, William Jones in

James Monroe: Five Cabinet positions, no changes

Andrew Jackson: Six Cabinet positions, no changes (though there was an unrelated Cabinet shuffle shortly after the six-month cutoff)

Ulysses S. Grant: Seven Cabinet positions, one change
*Secretary of the Treasury George S, Boutwell out, William A. Richardson in

Theodore Roosevelt: Nine Cabinet positions, one change
*Postmaster General Robert J. Wynne out, George B. Cortelyou in

Woodrow Wilson: Ten Cabinet positions, no changes

Calvin Coolidge: Ten Cabinet positions, four changes from what was originally Warren Harding's Cabinet
*Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes out, Frank B. Kellogg in
*Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty out, Harlan F. Stone in
*Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby out, Curtis D. Wilbur in
*Secretary of Agriculture Howard Mason Gore out, William Marion Jardine in

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936-37 transition: Ten Cabinet positions, no changes

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940-41 transition: Ten Cabinet positions, no changes

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944-45 transition: Ten Cabinet positions, two changes
*Secretary of State Cordell Hull out, Edward Stettnius Jr. in
*Secretary of Commerce Jesse H. Jones out, Henry A. Wallace in

Harry Truman: Eleven Cabinet positions, two changes from Roosevelt's cabinet
*Secretary of State George Marshall out, Dean Acheson in
*Secretary of War James Forrestal out, Louis Arthur Johnson in

Dwight Eisenhower: Ten Cabinet positions, no changes (although Attorney General Herbert Brownell retired a few months after the cutoff with the intention of being counted here)

Lyndon Johnson: Twelve Cabinet positions, two changes from what was John F. Kennedy's cabinet (not including Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy resigning before Election Day so he could run for the Senate)
*Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon out, Henry H. Fowler in
*Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges out, John T. Connor in

Richard Nixon: Twelve Cabinet positions, six changes
*Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird out, Elliot Richardson in
*Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson out, Frederick B. Dent in
*Secretary of Labor James Day Hodgson out, Peter J. Brennan in
*Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Elliot Richardson out, Caspar Weinberger in
*Secretary of Housing and Urban Development George W. Romney out, James Thomas Lynn in
*Secretary of Transportation John A. Volpe out, Claude Brinegar in

Ronald Reagan: Thirteen Cabinet positions, five changes
*Secretary of the Treasury Donald Regan out, James A. Baker III in
*Attorney General William French Smith out, Edwin Meese in
*Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan out, Bill Brock in
*Secretary of Energy Donald Hodel out, John S. Herrington in
*Secretary of Education Terrel Bell out, William Bennett in

Bill Clinton: Fourteen Cabinet positions, six changes
*Secretary of Defense William Perry out, William Cohen in
*Secretary of Commerce Mickey Cantor out, William M. Daley in
*Secretary of Labor Robert Reich out, Alexis Herman in
*Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros out, Andrew Cuomo in
*Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena out, Rodney Slater in
*Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary out, Federico Pena in

George W. Bush: Fifteen Cabinet positions, nine changes
*Secretary of State Colin Powell out, Condoleezza Rice in
*Attorney General John Ashcroft out, Alberto Gonzales in
*Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman out, Mike Johanns in
*Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans out, Carlos Gutierrez in
*Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson out, Mike Leavitt in
*Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham out, Samuel Bodman in
*Secretary of Education Rod Paige out, Margaret Spellings in
*Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi out, Jim Nicholson in
*Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge out, Michael Chertoff in

No comments: