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TitleTransformed by Crisis: The Presidency of George W. Bush and American Politics
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Page 2

TRANSFORMED BY CRISIS

Page 110

102 SHIRLEY ANNE WARSHAW

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S EXERCISE
OF PREROGATIVE POWERS

Appointment Power: Political Ideologues in the Subcabinet

Divided government and institutional conflict opened the door to presidents
seeking avenues other than legislative action to move their policy agenda
forward. 3 Such avenues have included administrative actions such as the
appointment power, executive orders, proclamations, and executive agree-
ments. Perhaps the single most important power that presidents have used
to move their policy agenda forward has been their power of appointment.
The Bush administration understood the power of moving presidential loy-
alists into the executive branch and has fully employed this power.

Appointments throughout the cabinet in the Bush administration focused
on ideologically conservative Republicans with ties to the Bush campaign
and with managerial capabilities. Most members of the Bush cabinet had man-
aged large organizations, such as corporations, or had overseen large gov-
ernment entities, such as state governments. In addition, appointments to the
federal judiciary focused on ideologically conservative nominees who were
strict constructionists.4 The president's counsel, Alberto Gonzalez, wrote to
the American Bar Association in early 200 1 stating that their recommenda-
tions would no longer be needed for judicial appointments. Ideology
became the central theme of the administration's nominees to the federal
judiciarys as it had been to the cabinet.

The subcabinet was populated not with managers or Bush friends but
instead with political ideologues who had a deep philosophical commitment
to conservative goals and objectives for the role of the federal government.
Many had served in the Reagan and Bush I administrations and had experi-
ence at the federal level. A survey by the National Journal found that
59 percent of political appointees in the Bush administration had worked for
the executive branch in previous administrations and 72 percent had worked
in some position in the federal government, with 43 percent having worked
as top appointees in the Bush I administration and 31 percent in the Reagan
administration.6 Perhaps the more interesting calculation from the National
Journal lies in the fact that of all political appointees in the current Bush
administration, nearly half (42 percent) had worked for the Bush 2000
presidential campaign? The Bush administration carefully designed a strategy
to populate the subcabinet appointments with political ideologues who
understood how to move the political agenda through the administrative
process. At the heart of the Bush strategy for mastering presidential govern-
ment was the ability to use the political staff for policy development and
implementation. By using experienced federal managers who were driven by
the conservative Bush agenda, the administration could quietly use a variety
of administrative tools. As the first year and a half of the administration has
shown, these administrative processes have proven successful and have met
with minimal opposition from Congress.

Page 111

MASTERING PRESIDENTIAL GOVERNMENT 103

There were relatively few attempts by the Bush administration to bring
gender and racial diversity to the composition of the subcabinet as it had to
the composition of the cabinet. In choosing a cabinet, Bush sought to follow
the Clinton model of a diverse cabinet. President Clinton had entered office
with a promise to have a cabinet "that looks like America" and created the
most diverse cabinet in American history.s Women in the cabinet were of
particular concern to President Clinton, who ultimately chose three women
for this cabinet in 1993. As Eleanor Smeal, president of the Fund for the
Feminist Majority and former head of the National Organization for Women,
noted, the women in the cabinet "were a step forward for women in break-
ing the glass ceiling in public leadership.,,9 Four Mrican Americans were
also included in the Clinton cabinet. For President Clinton, diversity rather
than political ideology was the key to both his cabinet and his subcabinet
selection process. Clinton noted at a news conference that he did not want
"people [in the cabinet] whose only criteria for having a job was that they
had somehow been involved with me before."lO

For President Bush diversity was a goal for the cabinet but not particularly
for the subcabinet. Bush successfully emulated the Clinton model for diver-
sity by choosing a diverse cabinet including four women, two Mrican
Americans, two Asian Americans, one Hispanic, and one Arab American into
the cabinet,u Except for Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, all were
Republicans and all were ideologically committed to the conservative goals
of the administration. Attorney General John Ashcroft, for example, who
was one of the most conservative members of the Bush cabinet, began each
day with a prayer meeting.

Diversity was the central theme for cabinet selection but political ideology
was the central theme for subcabinet selection. As White House press secre-
tary Ari Fleisher noted in February, 2001 as the subcabinet ranks were being
filled, "it will be difficult for the subcabinet to reflect the ethnic diversity
even of his [Bush] own cabinet, much less the public at large, given the slim
roster of minority Republicans from which to choose.,,12 This was a telling
statement for it identified Republicans as the only acceptable members of the
new administration. Clinton's administration had not identified political party,
notably the Democratic party, as the focus of its recruitment efforts.

The model for Bush's recruitment process had been the process used by
Ronald Reagan, who had successfully populated the subcabinet ranks with
conservative ideologues, all of whom had to be Republican. Racial and gen-
der diversity were not part of the Reagan recruitment equation. The personnel
objectives of Pendleton James and Lyn Nofziger in the Reagan White House
focused on developing a subcabinet whose loyalty was to Reagan and to his
conservative goals and objectives. President Bush's White House personnel
director,Clay Johnson, had been following the Reagan model in creating a
subcabinet. Johnson or his staff interviewed every candidate for a political
appointment in the departments. 13 In addition, Johnson's office regularly
met with the White House Office of Political Mfairs, which reviewed the

Page 219

INDEX 215

Republican National Committee, 130
"revolution in military affairs" (RMA),

178, 179
Rey, Mark, 105
Rice, Condoleezza, 167, 169, 172, 181
Ridge, Tom, 115, 149
Rieselbach, Leroy N., 75
RMA (revolution in military affairs),

178, 179
Roach, Jonathan, 133
Robertson, Pat, 145
Robertson v. Baldwin, 152-3
Robinson, Kayne, 147
Roe v. Wade, 122
rogue regimes/nations/states, 6, 169,

172-5, 177, 178, 182, 184, 190
Rohde, David W., 147
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 74, 94,119,134
Rove, Karl, 42, 121
rule making process, 109-10
Rumsfeld, Donald

and Middle East, 186-7
and missile threat, 171, 177,

179-80
and policymaking, 6,168,170
and terrorism, war on, 168, 190
and treaties, 181

Rutkus, Denis Steven, 87

S
Satire, William, 129
SALT II (Strategic Arms Limitation

Talks II), 171
sanctions, 113
SAPS (Statements of Administration

Policy),81
Scalia, Antonin, 121
Scalia, Eugene, 106
Schier, Steven E., 95
Schumer, Charles E., 85, 156, 160
Scowcroft, Brent, 169, 190
Second Amendment, 123, 146, 150-5,

159, 182
Senate Judiciary Committee, 89,

128, 131
Sensenbrenner, F. James, 80, 129-30
September 11 terrorist attacks (2001)

and Ashcroft's leadership, 123-5,
127,128

and bipartisan politics, 81, 87, 94
and Bush presidency, 1-3,6-7

and civil liberties, 126, 127, 129,
130, 136

Congress and, 3-5
and the economy, 37,42
effect on Bush's approval ratings, 25,

30,36,41,46,47-8,51,56-7,
59,61,65,67,141,199

and foreign policy, 52--{), 111, 168, 186
and gun control, 149, 156
and NICS, 157
and Patriot Act, 157
and war on terrorism, 41,114,188

Shaheen, Jean, 40
"shall issue" law, 144
Shamir, Yitzhak, 185
Sharon, Ariel, 185, 187
Silverstein, Mark, 87
Simendinger, Alexis, 101
Sinclair, Barbara, 93
Skowronek, Stephen, 120, 136n7
Small Arms Pact, 113
Smeal, Eleanor, 103
Smith, Bob, 40
social and health issues, 54 table
social regulatory policy, 143
Social Security, 43, 47
SORT (Strategic Offensive Reductions

Treaty), 180
Starr, Kenneth, 152
Statements of Administration Policy

(SAPs),81
steel tariffs, 44
Steering Committee, 90
stem cell research, 11 0
stock market, 43, 45-6
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II

(SALT II), 171, 182
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty

(SORT),180
subcabinet appointments, 103-4
Sunstein, Cass, 127, 134
Sununu, John, 40
Sweeney, John]., 109

T
Talent, Jim, 41
Taliban, 182, 188
tax cut, 75, 78,141,202
terrorism

Justice Department's response to,
124-6

Page 220

216 INDEX

terrorism-continued
legislation concerning, 79, 79 table
media coverage, 52-6, 54 table, 55

table, 60-1, 62-6, 69n19
policies on, 125-6
war on, 3, 5,6,41,80, 114, 139n59,

168-9, 188-91
Terrorism Information and Prevention

System (TIPS), 129
Texas, Miller P., 152-3
Thomas, Bill, 76
Thomas, Clarence, 121
Thompson, Fred, 39
Thune, John, 39
Thurber, James A., 73
Thurmond, Strom, 89
TIPS (Terrorism Information and

Prevention System), 129
Toobin, Jeffrey, 131, 132
Torricelli, Robert, 40
Tower, John, 84

U
U. S., Haney P., 154-5
U. S. Supreme Court and 2000

presidential election, 9-10,29
unilateral action by US, 173,200
unilateralism, 6, 167, 170, 180, 183, 191
United Airlines, 109
United Nations, 158-9
United States P. __ • See opposing party
United Steelworkers of America, 44
UN Security Council, 190
Urban Mfairs Council, 110

V
valence issues, 64-5
Verdugo-Urquidez, U. S. P., 153
Violence Policy Center (VPC), 156
Voinovich, George, 200
vote division, late-deciding & changing,

18 table
Voter News Service, 40
VPC (Violence Policy Center), 156

W
Wade, Roe P., 122
War Powers Act of 1973,114
Watson, Jack, III
weapons of mass destruction (WMD),

3,41,168-9,172,175,
176, 189-90

Wellstone, Paul, 40
Weyrich, Paul, 130
White, Ronnie, 132
Wildmon, Donald, 122
WMD. See weapons of mass destruction

(WMD)
Wolfowitz, Paul, 6,171,176,181,

183, 189
Wood, Alastair J, J" 106
Woolsey, Lynn, 80
Wyden, Ron, 82

Y
Young, William G., 133

Z
Zogby Polls, 17

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