Initial Cabinet - Home State - Presidents Eisenhower to G.W.Bush

Home States of Initial Cabinet Members, Presidents Eisenhower to G.W.Bush

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the web page publicizing veteran observer Stephen Hess’s book What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-Elect (Brookings, 2008) includes a table describing the composition of the original cabinets from Eisenhower through G.W.Bush. (Aside: Hess discusses the transition during this informative interview on the Dianne Rehm Show.)

Anyway, using Hess’s data, the tag cloud above represents the home states from the list totaling 98 cabinet members from 8 presidential transitions (Johnson and Ford are excluded because they did not go through a formal transition). I created the tag cloud using New York is surprisingly well-represented here, particularly compared to California and Texas (both of which claimed two presidents during this period – there were no presidents from New York). Among the New Yorkers are 3 secretaries of state, 3 attorneys general, 2 treasury and 2 commerce secretaries – no real pattern other than important and powerful people live in New York. If the anticipated nominees are confirmed, the Obama administration may be the most New York-centric in recent administration – with at least three Clinton, Holder, and Geithner.

Below are a couple quick graphs looking at male-female and ethnic composition. They speak for themselves, I guess.

Cabinets Composition