I got a chuckle out of this. It seems those in the cabinet feel the President Obama’s management style is not up to par for an executive. What do you expect when you add a few dozen czars into the mix?
With any executive position, you need to have a core group of professionals surrounding you to be effective. In the United States, the president has 15 cabinet secretaries and a few other cabinet-level positions. The current president – and others in the past – have selected other czars who do not necessarily have to be confirmed by the Senate to provide additional support, advice, or whatever to the president.
With 15 secretaries, seven other cabinet-level positions including the unmanageable Vice President Joe Biden, and more than 30 other czars all looking for face-time and mentoring from the president, the management of those individuals (more than 50 of them) is a full time job and much more.
During the first two years of President Obama’s term, the administration fully embraced just a few of his superstar picks – people such as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. But many more agency chiefs conducted their business in relative anonymity, sometimes after running afoul of White House officials.
Both sides were deeply disgruntled. Agency heads privately complained that the White House was a “fortress” that was unwilling to accept input and that micromanaged their departments. Senior administration advisers rolled their eyes in staff meetings at the mention of certain Cabinet members, participants said.
With the introduction of the new White House chief of staff, they are going to fix the issue with … another czar.
At the same time, the White House recently created the position of Cabinet communications director, appointing media adviser Tom Gavin to the job. The goal, according to the official statement, is “to better coordinate with and utilize members of the Cabinet” and is a “high priority.”
You just can’t make this stuff up.
What happens when someone with no executive experience takes over the toughest executive job in the world? Since we’ve not seen that situation in most of our lifetimes — even John Kennedy, the last President elected with no executive experience in government or the private sector, had some command experience in the Navy — we had little hard evidence to predict failure to manage the executive branch of the US government, but it was rather easy to presume that on-the-job training at that level would be problematic, to say the least.
From my Oct. 2008 post on presidential qualifications.
A Lack of Executive Experience
McCain does have leadership experience; four years at Annapolis, seven years as a pilot before being shot down, and he served as the executive and commanding officer of a training squadron in Florida for a couple of years. One thing is for certain, the armed services of our country do a very good job training leaders.
I was certain that Obama would not select Biden for this reason alone. Neither have managed a business, an office, a city government or a state government.
Presidents normally have had executive and/or military leadership positions prior to taking office.
Bush (43), Clinton, Reagan, Carter and FDR all came from the ranks governors. Bush (41), Ford, Nixon, Johnson and Truman were vice presidents prior to taking the oath. Kennedy was a senator prior to taking office, but had four years of military service during World War II. Eisenhower had extensive military experience beginning when he enrolled at West Point in 1911. Even Hoover had eight years of experience as the US Secretary of Commerce under Harding.
That’s almost 80 years of presidential history. Obama does not have experience to match previous presidents.