In a short paragraph, explain what a president could do when choosing cabinet members to increase their values as advisers?
The following should be considered:
-work experience of a cabinet member
-party/personal loyalty to the president
- the criteria when picking cabinet members
Usually, cabinet members are from the same party as the President; though, in some instances, presidents will retain cabinet members from previous administrations, if that individual proves to be consistently helpful in his or her role.
For example, President Obama kept Robert Gates in his role as Secretary of Defense. Gates was nominated by George W. Bush. Obama probably kept Gates due to his understanding of the wars that began under the previous administration. To ensure "success" in Afghanistan and a smooth exit from Iraq, Obama thought it best not to rely on someone new, but to enforce his plan with an experienced strategist. However, though Gates is a Republican, he shared Obama's view that it was dangerous to rely heavily on military intervention as a diplomatic tool.
In some instances, cabinet members have superior knowledge of their respective fields which can influence the presidents under whom they serve. This case is exemplified by Henry Kissinger who, as Secretary of State, convinced Nixon to open relations with China. Kissinger brought in Realpolitik -- that is, the belief that policy decisions ought to be made based on actual circumstances instead of political ideology. Though Nixon and other Republicans loathed Communism, Kissinger was aware of China's potential, and used both his diplomatic experience and superior knowledge of foreign relations to encourage a detente between the countries.
The most valuable advisors would be honest and forthright with the chief executive, competent, but ultimately unwilling to undermine the administration's agenda. As government encompasses more and more roles in American life, it is imperative that cabinet level officials have a great deal of specific know-how, though the ability to administer a large department is also important, as the president's advisors are not just cabinet members but the heads of vast bureaucratic departments. Realistically, another important characteristic for the president's top advisors in this political climate is that they are capable of being approved by the Senate. This usually means that they should not have skeletons in the closet, especially related to work in government, and that they should not be too far to one side or the other on the ideological spectrum.