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  • Cabinet
    • Not mentioned in the Constitution
      • Grown up by tradition and necessity
    • Membership/ recruitment
      • No coherent shadow cabinet waiting to take office (as in UK)
      • Serving Congressmen may be reluctant to give up their seats
        • Prestige and job security in the cabinet is rare
        • 2008 Congressman Jim Clyburn (NC) turned down Obama's invite to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
      • Confirmability needed, have to be acceptable to the Senate so more likely to be moderate
        • Rare for Senate to reject - 1989 John Tower, Bush's nominee for SecDef
      • Need for balance, restraint of President's cjoices
        • Age, political ideology etc.
      • Policy specialist is usually the president's main consideration
      • Some individual cabinet officers are very important (State, Treasury) but as a group fairly unimportant
    • Proximity/ frequency of meetings
      • Distant, SecState's office is in Foggy Bottom (10 mins from Oval Office) SecDef is in Prentagon (15-20 mins)
      • Frequency depends on the president
        • GW Bush "once every couple of months"
        • Reagan in 1st year 36, 2nd year 21, 3rd and 4th 12
        • On average 3 times a year with Obama and the whole cabinet, SecDef 20 times a year and SecState 16 times a year
    • Loyalty
      • Going native is when a cabinet member tends to be ensnared by their department's way of thinking
      • Loyalty to Congress as Congress' votes decide their departmental budgets, committees can call them to account in person
    • Roles/ aims
      • Advice giving at the president's discretion, no obligation to listen to them
      • Public demonstration of type of presidency
        • Clinton's would "look like America"
        • JFK's "Camelot" "round table" of the brightest young minds in America
      • Policy specialists
      • Not rivals to the president, Cabinet is rarely a stepping stone to the presidency


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