Leadership at the Highest Levels

There has recently been a string of high-level resignations from the Bush Administration, in such rapid succession that it must appear that George Bush’s ship is sinking fast.

It got me curious about how this Administration fares against the Clinton Administration. Granted, Clinton had 8 full years as President versus Bush’s 6 ½ years, but both Administrations have had their share of controversies, spinning and subsequent media attacks.

Both Administrations lost significant staff, and often those resignations – especially at Cabinet-level positions, occurred more than once over the course of the President’s tenure.

Both Administrations suffered scandalous or controversial resignations – Bush has had a few more at the higher levels than Clinton and both used their Presidential pardoning power (Deutch and Libby, respectively) to spare them from prosecution or jail time.

The number of resignations indicates that the average tenure of these high-ranking officials is short, typically only a few years. Which begs the question: How the hell is any continuity maintained at this level of government?

Maybe that’s yet another reason why the current Administration has trouble turning rhetoric into action.

High-Level Resignations


Clinton Administration

Bush Administration

Attorney General

John Ashcroft
Alberto Gonzales

Deputy Attorney General

Paul McNulty

Associate Attorney General

William Mercer

CIA Director

James Woolsey

John Deutch

George Tenet

Porter Goss

Secretary of Defense

Lee Aspin

William Perry

Donald Rumsfeld

Joint Chiefs of Staff

Colin Powell

John Shalikashvili

Henry Shelton

Richard Meyers

Peter Pace

Secretary of State

Warren Christopher

Colin Powell

Deputy Secretary of State

Richard Armitage

Randall Tobias

Secretary of Treasurer

Lloyd Bentsen

Robert Rubin

Paul O’Neill

John Snow

Secretary of Commerce

William M. Daley

Mickey Kantor

Donald Evans

Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Jesse Brown

Anthony Principi

Jim Nicholson

Secretary of Labor

Robert Reich

Secretary of Agriculture

Mike Espy

Anne Veneman

Secretary of Education

Rod Paige

Secretary of Housing

Henry Cisneros

Mel Martinez

Secretary of Transportation

Federico Pena

Norm Mineta

Secretary of the Interior

Gale Norton

Secretary of Energy

Hazel O’Leary

Spencer Abraham

Secretary of Homeland Security

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Tom Ridge

Secretary of Health & Human Services

Tommy Thompson

Chief of Staff

Mack McLarty

Leon Panetta

Erskine Bowles

Andrew Card

Vice President Chief of Staff

Lewis Libby

EPA Administrator

Christie Whitman
Michael Leavitt

Deputy EPA Administrator

Linda Fischer

U.S. Treasurer

Rosario Marin

Director OMB

Alice Rivlin

Franklin Raines

Mitch Daniels
Rob Portman

White House Press Secretary

Dee Dee Meyers

Mike McCurry

Air Fleischer
Scott McClellan
Tony Snow

Senior Politcal Advisor

Dick Morris

Karl Rove
Sara Taylor

Communications Director

George Stephanopoulous

Nicolle Wallace

White House Counselor

Dan Bartlett

White House Budget Director

Rob Portman

White House Counsel

Harriet Miers

White House Director of Strategic Initiatives

Pete Wehner

White House Deputy National Security Advisor

J.D. Crouch

White House Liaison Justice Department

Monica Goodling

Army Secretary

Robert Walker

Joseph Westphal
Thomas White
Les Brownlee
Francis Harvey

U.N. Ambassador

Madeline Albright

Bill Richardson

John Negreponte
John Danforth
John Bolton



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