Sign up FAST! Login

Is President Obama’s Cabinet a “Team of Rivals”? Not really...

Stashed in: Obama!, politics

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Todd S. Purdum showcases that the Obama cabinet is free from bickering and infighting:

With a few prominent exceptions—Gates, whom he held over at the Pentagon, to broad acclaim; Clinton, who has become a highly effective secretary of state; Timothy Geithner, who left the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to become the influential Treasury secretary and part of the president’s inner circle (but also a lightning rod for criticism that the administration is too deferential to Wall Street); and Leon Panetta, an old Washington hand who first ran the C.I.A. and is now secretary of defense—Obama has surrounded himself mostly with a team of loyalists. They range from the very competent (Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security) to the perennially controversial (Eric Holder at Justice) to the underwhelmingly anonymous (could anyone but a union leader pick Labor Secretary Hilda Solis out of a lineup?). In the main, Obama relates to his Cabinet the way he relates to the rest of the world. “He’s a total introvert,” the former adviser told me. “He doesn’t need people.”

So it hardly matters that Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, is widely seen as quietly capable; she was not front and center in Obama’s public push for health-care reform.

Expect even more of the same if he wins a second term.

You May Also Like: