key cabinet posts former White House aides loyal to him Like Johnson his

Key cabinet posts former white house aides loyal to

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key cabinet posts former White House aides loyal to him. Like Johnson, his personality made it difficult for him to mobilize popular support. Eventually he was forced to resign under the threat of impeach- ment arising out of his role in the Watergate scandal. Gerald Ford, before being appointed vice president, had spent his political life in Congress and was at home with the give-and-take, discussion-oriented procedures of that body. He was also a genial man who liked talk- ing to people. Thus he preferred the circular to the pyramid system of White House organization. But this meant that many decisions were made in a disor- ganized fashion in which key people—and sometimes key problems—were not taken into account. Jimmy Carter was an outsider to Washington and boasted of it. A former Georgia governor, he was de- termined not to be “captured” by Washington insid- ers. He also was a voracious reader with a wide range of interests and an appetite for detail. These disposi- tions led him to try to do many things and to do them personally. Like Ford, he began with a circular struc- ture; unlike Ford, he based his decisions on reading countless memos and asking detailed questions. His advisers finally decided that he was trying to do too much in too great detail, and toward the end of his term he shifted to a pyramid structure. Ronald Reagan was also an outsider, a former gov- ernor of California. But unlike Carter, he wanted to set the broad directions of his administration and leave the details to others. He gave wide latitude to subor- dinates and to cabinet officers, within the framework of an emphasis on lower taxes, less domestic spend- ing, a military buildup, and a tough line with the So- viet Union. He was a superb leader of public opinion, earning the nickname “The Great Communicator.” George H.W. Bush lacked Reagan’s speaking skills and was much more of a hands-on manager. Draw- ing on his extensive experience in the federal govern- ment (he had been vice president, director of the CIA, ambassador to the United Nations, representative to China, and a member of the House), Bush made de- cisions on the basis of personal contacts with key for- eign leaders and Washington officials. Bill Clinton, like Carter, paid a lot of attention to public policy and preferred informal, ad hoc arrange- ments for running his office. Unlike Carter, he was an effective speaker who could make almost any idea sound plausible. He was elected as a centrist Demo- crat but immediately pursued liberal policies such as comprehensive health insurance. When those failed and the Republicans won control of Congress in 1994, Clinton became a centrist again. His sexual affairs be- 382 Chapter 14 The Presidency Trivia Presidents Only divorced president Only bachelor president Three presidents who died on the Fourth of July The shortest presidential term The longest presidential term The youngest president when inaugurated The oldest president when inaugurated First president born in a hospital First presidential automobile
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