Mason Expert Addresses Bush Cabinet Resignations

Posted: November 19, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Editor’s note: With the recent flurry of resignations in the Bush cabinet, The Daily Gazette turned to a George Mason professor to put the situation in perspective. Colleen Shogan, assistant professor in Public and International Affairs, is an expert on the American presidency, American ideas and institutions, and Congress. She received her master’s and PhD from Yale University. Her views follow.

Colleen Shogan
Colleen Shogan

The number of Bush’s cabinet departures isn’t as significant as the replacement decisions themselves. If Bush reaches eight departures, as is anticipated, he will nearly match the record for second term switches, held by Richard Nixon with nine. There is little cause for alarm because most of these departures were delayed—almost no one left Bush’s cabinet during his first term of office.

The interesting phenomenon is that Bush is filling these cabinet positions with insiders, or individuals who already served the president on the White House staff. These strategic replacements indicate that Bush wants to make his second-term cabinet more responsive to his own political preferences, and could signal the administration’s turn toward more conservative, rather than moderate, policy goals.

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