Tuesday, November 3, 2009

James Pfiffner on Obama's "Czars"

In recent weeks, President Barack Obama's steady appointments of cabinet "czars" has been a hot topic among political observers , concerned that his proliferation of empowered advisors may undermine Congress' oversight of the executive branch.

But, Obama certainly isn't the first U.S. president to seek guidance from a stable of advisors on how to run the country. In a recent interview with Time Magazine, TAMU Press author Jim Pfiffner, a presidential historian at George Mason University, explains

Time paraphrases: 'Every Administration has defined its czars differently, but generally speaking, they are appointees, not confirmed by the Senate, who help coordinate issues across agencies. These advisers cannot make decisions themselves; instead, they whittle down the options to present to the President.'
The article goes on to discuss Franklin D. Roosevelt's "brain trust" and the structures of various presidential cabinets, dating back to the administration of President George Washington.

See the rest of the article here.

See more presidential studies-related titles from TAMU Press here.

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