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vcczar

Cabinet Turnover Since Nixon

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Here's how much cabinet (including cabinet-level) turnover there's been since Nixon:

  • Nixon, 26 changes in a term and a half
    • I include the VP change
  • Ford, 16 changes in a half-term
    • however, he was taking over Nixon's cabinet, so it's understandable he would replace many people at once. 
  • Carter, 11 changes in one term. 
    • The strangest change is that he operated 2 years as a his own chief of staff before breaking with that policy. 
  • Reagan, 28 changes in two terms.
    • More than Nixon, but Nixon was on pace to surpass him.
  • GHW Bush, 10 in one term. 
    • Similar to Carter, but Carter's turnover seemed more chaotic because he lost like four on the same day. 
  • Clinton, 24 in two terms
    • Considering Nixon and Reagan, Clinton's cabinet seemed relatively stable. 
  • GW Bush, 28 in two terms. 
    • Ties Reagan
  • Obama, 30 in two terms. 
    • This is numerically the highest, but in his defense Obama elevated some positions to cabinet-level that weren't previously so under these other presidents. 
  • Trump, 24 in less than one term. 
    • He's on pace to shattering Obama's 30. He's already shattered the modern record for a president for a term or less. 

Franklin Pierce is the only presidents to have no cabinet turnover. 

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4 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Here's how much cabinet (including cabinet-level) turnover there's been since Nixon:

  • Nixon, 26 changes in a term and a half
    • I include the VP change
  • Ford, 16 changes in a half-term
    • however, he was taking over Nixon's cabinet, so it's understandable he would replace many people at once. 
  • Carter, 11 changes in one term. 
    • The strangest change is that he operated 2 years as a his own chief of staff before breaking with that policy. 
  • Reagan, 28 changes in two terms.
    • More than Nixon, but Nixon was on pace to surpass him.
  • GHW Bush, 10 in one term. 
    • Similar to Carter, but Carter's turnover seemed more chaotic because he lost like four on the same day. 
  • Clinton, 24 in two terms
    • Considering Nixon and Reagan, Clinton's cabinet seemed relatively stable. 
  • GW Bush, 28 in two terms. 
    • Ties Reagan
  • Obama, 30 in two terms. 
    • This is numerically the highest, but in his defense Obama elevated some positions to cabinet-level that weren't previously so under these other presidents. 
  • Trump, 24 in less than one term. 
    • He's on pace to shattering Obama's 30. He's already shattered the modern record for a president for a term or less. 

Franklin Pierce is the only presidents to have no cabinet turnover. 

The Southerners in Pierce's Cabinet (like King, Davis, Atchison, Hunter, Phillips, Dobbin, and Breckinridge) served as gatekeepers to allowing any Whigs, Know-Nothings, and even Northern Democrats (like Douglas, Cass, and Cushing) access to even speak to the President, under their terms and scheduling, and were always present during the meetings. Free Soilers and, from 1854, Republicans were denied the ability to speak face-to-face to Pierce at all (Sumner was one of the few to even try). I remember reading about this in a tract about the Kansas-Nebraska Compromise negotiations and proceedings.

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6 minutes ago, Patine said:

The Southerners in Pierce's Cabinet (like King, Davis, Atchison, Hunter, Phillips, Dobbin, and Breckinridge) served as gatekeepers to allowing any Whigs, Know-Nothings, and even Northern Democrats (like Douglas, Cass, and Cushing) access to even speak to the President, under their terms and scheduling, and were always present during the meetings. Free Soilers and, from 1854, Republicans were denied the ability to speak face-to-face to Pierce at all (Sumner was one of the few to even try). I remember reading about this in a tract about the Kansas-Nebraska Compromise negotiations and proceedings.

I was unaware Pierce blocked off access. I wonder if part of this was his chronic depression and return to alcoholism after his son's death. 

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18 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Franklin Pierce is the only presidents to have no cabinet turnover. 

That's probably not an argument in favor of low turnover.  Hoover had a very stable cabinet also.

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7 minutes ago, pilight said:

That's probably not an argument in favor of low turnover.  Hoover had a very stable cabinet also.

It definitely isn't. A bad cabinet is a bad cabinet, no matter the number of turnover. 

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@vcczar Are you counting the most recent turnover even though it was an Acting Secretary?

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10 hours ago, Reagan04 said:

@vcczar Are you counting the most recent turnover even though it was an Acting Secretary?

I didn't count Kevin McAleenan. I also only count Acting cabinets if they served for a substantial amount of time (like 6 months or so). Another way that Trump is unusual is that he keeps his acting cabinet members in place for so long. I think it's because there's some sort of loophole from which he's taking advantage. I bet he never gets a non-acting Chief of Staff again. 

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