The Chosen Ones: Presidential Appointees

  • Theresa Marchant-Shapiro
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


Although the Constitution designates the vice president as the heir apparent, in practice during the early years of the republic, the individual second to the president in power was the secretary of state. As a result, for many years, the secretary of state was presumed to be the next in line to be elected president. Indeed, all of the presidents from Thomas Jefferson to John Quincy Adams had previously served as secretary of state. This presumption may have been based on the significant national-level experience the secretary of state gained within the executive branch. But it is equally plausible that their initial appointment as secretary of state was an acknowledgment that they had already proven their merit through their previous years of public service. Many presidents come to office after serving in national offices to which they were appointed by previous chief executives. Sometimes these appointments were to cabinet-level offices; sometimes, to subcabinet or agency positions; and sometimes, in diplomatic positions. The question for this chapter is how well such appointees perform as president.


Democratic Party Republican Party National Bank Constitutional Convention Party Elite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Theresa Marchant-Shapiro 2015

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  • Theresa Marchant-Shapiro

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