Partisan Presidential Leadership
DOI link for Partisan Presidential Leadership
Partisan Presidential Leadership book
This chapter examines the changes that have occurred in party impacts on federal executive staffing in the past century. It begins with a look at the pre—New Deal experience. The New Deal and postwar evolution are then explored. That is followed by an effort to illuminate the reasons for the change in party role and influence, and to explain the impact of that change on the governing process. Parties could claim a dominant role in presidential appointment decisions only as long as they were able to control the candidate nominating process. The political calculus became much more complex and it was increasingly difficult for local bosses or leaders of the national party organization to use the congressional lever to influence presidential appointment decisions. Partisan control of presidential appointments reached its zenith with the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828. A decentralized Congress was less able and less willing to serve purely partisan interests in the appointment process.