[amazon_link id=”0743270754″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Find Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin on Amazon.[/amazon_link]
The Constitution makes no provision for a president’s cabinet. After all, no one in the Constitutional Convention in 1787 ever thought the office of the president would require much more than secretarial help. If there was to be a council of state or an assembly of sage heads in the new republic, the Framers expected that it could be found in the Senate. But the Senate, as George Washington discovered, was too political and fractious a body to play that role. And the men he had invited to serve as his executive secretaries — Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Knox — were of such extraordinary abilities that by the end of Washington’s first administration, a “cabinet” of advisers and administrators with wide latitude to execute presidential policy was already emerging.
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Review by Allen C. Guelzo – The Washington Post