Obama administration hires czar to manage cabinet and other czars

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.

The Washington Post points out the past issues, with a hat tip to Big Government.

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.

Update: Our friend Ed Morrissey at Hot Air chimes in. In October 2008 I wrote about this exact subject in The case against the Obama presidency (Part 2).

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.

Posted in ,

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on March 9, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Wow!  A czar czar!  So the WH has turned into a small model of the federal government, rife with redundant administrators, petty bureaucrats, and sub deputy assistant under secretaries etc.


    It is just a lot of pass the buck instead of "the buck stops here" management style.

  2. TomL on March 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I thought that was Barry's job. He's suppose to manage all the employee's. Must be cutting into his campaigning time, golf time  and basketball time.

  3. NH-Jim on March 9, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Community Disorganization.


    Reminds me of an episode of "Hoarders" except in the White House, it's a case of hoarding redundant scapegoats at "top priority".

  4. RoBrDona on March 9, 2011 at 11:08 am

    The Narcissist in Chief, Protector of the Free World, just passed 60 rounds of golf (+/- 300 hours) during his presidency. He could have taken a mini MBA in that time, proving that he has no interest in the nuts and bolts of governance.      

  5. Dimsdale on March 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    From the song, "Signs", a parody of the chorus….


    Czars, czars, everywhere a czar

    Clogging up the government, breaking our minds,

    Do this, don't do that, can't you hear the czars….?



  6. sammy22 on March 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    From my experience in the private sector, the layers of management are as thick in the public sector. The higher the management level, the larger the overhead. And, when it was time to cut, the worker bees were more likely to get chopped.

  7. TomL on March 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    My experience in the private sector is they cut middle management first because they don't pull the cart.

  8. Plainvillian on March 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    How many czars did Lincoln need in addition to his seven cabinet members while fighting a civil war?  How many czars did FDR need in addition to his nine cabinet members while fighting World War 2?  Did either of these great presidents need a czar of czars?  Were either of these past presidents true leaders?  Do the math.

  9. PatRiot on March 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    OK spill – Who is in charge of changing diapers?  Who has the handkerchief to wipe the royal nose and who is the piss boy?

    Our company executives hired "experts" to tell them what the managers were already paid to do.  And in the end, if these managers trusted the workers opinions an answer would have been 10 minutes in the making, not 10 months.

  10. Dimsdale on March 10, 2011 at 4:39 am

    It is simply avoidance (or abrogation) of the responsibility he agreed to take when elected.


    More signs of inexperience and immaturity.

    • GdavidH on March 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Un-qualified as opposed to under qualified.

    • Dimsdale on March 15, 2011 at 3:34 am

      The Great Øbamateur!!

  11. Lynn on March 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    When I first started reading this post, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. Then I started to smile as I read your comments. Stranger yet, I could almost hear Dimsdale singing czars, czars everywhere a czar.? By then I was laughing. Thanks guys, why do I read anything else? Sorry I can’t contribute, Bad Head Day!

    • Dimsdale on March 15, 2011 at 3:33 am

      Laughter is the best medicine, particularly after a shot of ridicule!  😉


The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.