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The Unitary ExecutivePresidential Power from Washington to Bush$
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Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001

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Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon

(p.346) 37 Richard M. Nixon
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter describes Richard M. Nixon's deep admiration for the system of cabinet governance that he thought had prevailed during the Eisenhower administration. Nixon came to the presidency with this sentiment and the initial plan of letting department heads run their programs quite independently, while he concentrated on foreign policy. He appointed thirty cabinet heads, breaking the old record held by Ulysses S. Grant, and the median length of tenure of cabinet secretaries fell from forty months to eighteen. The frequent turnover in his cabinet secretaries demonstrated that he had no fear of making removals. Notwithstanding the many troubles that would eventually come to engulf his administration, Richard Nixon proved to be a stalwart defender of the president's authority to execute the laws.

Keywords:   cabinet governance, Richard M. Nixon, Eisenhower administration, department heads, foreign policy, Ulysses S. Grant, cabinet secretaries, stalwart defender

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