White House Chief of Staff

Last updated
White House Chief of Staff
US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg
Mick Mulvaney official photo (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Mick Mulvaney
Acting

since January 2, 2019
Executive Office of the President
White House Office
Reports to President of the United States
AppointerPresident of the United States
Formation1946 (Assistant to the President)
1961 (White House Chief of Staff)
First holder John R. Steelman
Website www.whitehouse.gov
Chief of Staff Jack Watson (1980-81) meets with President Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office (November 21, 1977). Jimmy Carter meets with Jack Watson, cabinet secretary, in the Oval Office - NARA - 176952.jpg
Chief of Staff Jack Watson (1980–81) meets with President Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office (November 21, 1977).

The White House Chief of Staff position is the successor to the earlier role of the President's private secretary. The role was formalized as the Assistant to the President in 1946 and acquired its current title in 1961. The current official title is Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff.

The Secretary to the President was a former 19th and early 20th century White House position that carried out all the tasks now spread throughout the modern White House Office. The Secretary would act as a buffer between the President and the public, keeping the President's schedules and appointments, managing his correspondence, managing the staff, communicating to the press as well as being a close aide and advisor to the President in a manner that often required great skill and discretion. In terms of rank it is a precursor to the modern White House Chief of Staff.

Contents

The Chief of Staff is a political appointee of the President who does not require Senate confirmation, and who serves at the pleasure of the President. While not a legally required role, all presidents since Harry Truman have appointed chiefs of staff.

According to the United States Office of Government Ethics, a political appointee is "any employee who is appointed by the President, the Vice President, or agency head". As of 2016, there are around 4,000 political appointment positions which an incoming administration needs to review, and fill or confirm, of which about 1,200 require Senate confirmation.

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts. It describes either of two situations: where a weak executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch or where the legislative branch concurs and approves something previously enacted by a strong executive branch.

In the administration of Donald Trump, the current acting Chief of Staff is Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded John Kelly on January 2, 2019, who himself had replaced Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff on July 31, 2017. [1] On December 8, 2018, President Trump announced that Kelly would be stepping down from his post by the end of the year. [2] On December 14, Trump announced on Twitter that OMB director Mick Mulvaney would become the new acting Chief of Staff. [3] [4]

Donald Trump 45th and current president of the United States

Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.

Mick Mulvaney Director of the Office of Management and Budget; White House Chief of Staff

John Michael Mulvaney is an American politician of the Republican Party who is serving in President Donald Trump's cabinet as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as acting White House Chief of Staff. Mulvaney also served as the acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from November 2017 to December 2018.

John F. Kelly American politician and military officer

John Francis Kelly is a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served as the White House Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump from July 31, 2017 to January 2, 2019. He had previously served as Secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration.

History

The duties of the White House chief of staff vary greatly from one administration to another and, in fact, there is no legal requirement that the president even fill the position. However, since at least 1979, all presidents have found the need for a chief of staff, who typically oversees the actions of the White House staff, manages the president's schedule, and decides who is allowed to meet with the president. Because of these duties, the chief of staff has at various times been labeled "The Gatekeeper."

Originally, the duties now performed by the chief of staff belonged to the president's private secretary and were fulfilled by crucial confidants and advisers such as George B. Cortelyou, Joseph Tumulty, and Louis McHenry Howe to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, respectively. [5] The private secretary served as the president's de facto chief aide in a role that combined personal and professional assignments of highly delicate and demanding natures, requiring great skill and discretion. [6] The job of gatekeeper and overseeing the president's schedule was separately delegated to the appointments secretary, as with FDR's aide Edwin "Pa" Watson.

George B. Cortelyou American politician

George Bruce Cortelyou was an American Cabinet secretary of the early twentieth century. He held various positions in the presidential administrations of Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt 26th president of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, sportsman, conservationist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He previously served as the 25th vice president of the United States from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, Roosevelt is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents.

Woodrow Wilson 28th president of the United States

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States during World War I, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."

From 1933 to 1939, as he greatly expanded the scope of the federal government's policies and powers in response to the Great Depression, Roosevelt relied on his "Brain Trust" of top advisers. Although working directly for the president, they were often appointed to vacant positions in agencies and departments, whence they drew their salaries since the White House lacked statutory or budgetary authority to create new staff positions. It was not until 1939, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term in office, that the foundations of the modern White House staff were created using a formal structure. Roosevelt was able to get Congress to approve the creation of the Executive Office of the President, which would report directly to the president. During World War II, Roosevelt created the position of "Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief" for his principal military adviser, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy.

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

White House Official residence and workplace of the President of the United States

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

In 1946, in response to the rapid growth of the U.S. government's executive branch, the position of "Assistant to the President of the United States" was established. Charged with the affairs of the White House, it was the immediate predecessor to the modern chief of staff. It was in 1953, under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, that the president's preeminent assistant was designated the "White House Chief of Staff".

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Dwight D. Eisenhower 34th president of the United States

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

Assistant to the president became a rank generally shared by the chief of staff with such senior aides as deputy chiefs of staff, the White House counsel, the White House press secretary, and others. This new system did not catch on immediately. Democrats Kennedy and Johnson still relied on their appointments secretaries instead, and it was not until the Nixon administration that the chief of staff took over maintenance of the President's schedule. This concentration of power in the Nixon and Ford White House (whose last chief of staff was Dick Cheney) led presidential candidate Jimmy Carter to campaign in 1976 with the promise that he would not appoint a chief of staff. And indeed, for the first two and a half years of his presidency, he appointed no one to the post. [7] [8]

The average tenure for a White House chief of staff is a little more than 18 months. [9] The inaugural chief of staff, John R. Steelman, under Harry S. Truman, was also the last to be a president's only chief of staff, not counting Kenneth O'Donnell during John F. Kennedy's 34 months in office. (Andrew Card and Denis McDonough each served at least one entire presidential term of office under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively). Steelman also holds the record for longest-serving chief of staff (six years).

Most White House chiefs of staff are former politicians, and many continue their political careers in other senior roles. Lyndon Johnson's chief of staff W. Marvin Watson became the Postmaster General later in LBJ's term. Richard Nixon's Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, a career U.S. Army officer with his capstone military position being CINCUSEUCOM/SACEUR, later became Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan. Cheney later became a Congressman for Wyoming, Secretary of Defense under George H. W. Bush and vice president in the George W. Bush administration. Donald Rumsfeld was another chief of staff for Ford and subsequently served as Secretary of Defense both in the Ford administration and decades later, also in the George W. Bush administration. Rahm Emanuel left the House of Representatives to become Barack Obama's chief of staff and subsequently became Mayor of Chicago. Jack Lew, President Obama's fourth chief of staff, was later appointed Secretary of the Treasury.

Role

President George H. W. Bush sits at his desk in the Oval Office Study and talks on the telephone regarding Operation Just Cause, as Chief of Staff John Sununu and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft stand nearby (December 20, 1989). George H. W. Bush on telephone.jpg
President George H. W. Bush sits at his desk in the Oval Office Study and talks on the telephone regarding Operation Just Cause, as Chief of Staff John Sununu and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft stand nearby (December 20, 1989).
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks into the Oval Office as President Donald Trump reads over his notes (March 10, 2017). Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks into the Oval Office as President Donald Trump reads over his notes, March 2017.jpg
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks into the Oval Office as President Donald Trump reads over his notes (March 10, 2017).

Chris Whipple, author of The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, loosely describes the role of a White House chief of staff through his interview with former President Barack Obama: "During the last days of his presidency, Barack Obama observed: 'One of the things I've learned is that the big breakthroughs are typically the result of a lot of grunt work—just a whole lot of blocking and tackling.' Grunt work is what chiefs of staff do." [9]

The responsibilities of the chief of staff are both managerial and advisory and can include the following:

These responsibilities extend to firing of staff members: in the case of Omarosa Manigault Newman, who published a tape she said was made in the Situation Room of her firing by Chief of Staff John Kelly, the Chief of Staff said that his decision for her departure was non-negotiable and that "the staff and everyone on the staff works for me and not the president." [10]

Richard Nixon's first chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, garnered a reputation in Washington for the iron hand he wielded in the position—famously referring to himself as "the president's son-of-a-bitch", he was a rigid gatekeeper who would frequently meet with administration officials in place of the president, then report himself to Nixon on the officials' talking points. Journalist Bob Woodward, in his books All the President's Men and The Secret Man, wrote that many of his sources, including the famous Deep Throat, displayed a genuine fear of Haldeman. [11] [12]

List of White House Chiefs of Staff

Chief of StaffTook officeLeft officeTime in officeParty President
1
John R. Steelman.png
Steelman, John John Steelman
(1900–1999)
December 12, 1946January 20, 19536 years, 39 days Democratic Truman, Harry Harry S Truman  (Dem)
(1945 – 1953)
2
GLSAAdams.jpg
Adams, Sherman Sherman Adams
(1899–1986)
January 20, 1953October 7, 19585 years, 260 days Republican Eisenhower, Dwight Dwight D. Eisenhower  (Rep)
(1953 – 1961)
3
No image.svg
Persons, Wilton Wilton Persons
(1896–1977)
October 7, 1958January 20, 19612 years, 105 days Republican Eisenhower, Dwight Dwight D. Eisenhower  (Rep)
(1953 – 1961)
-
Kenny O'Donnell.jpg
O'Donnell, Kenneth Kenneth O'Donnell
(1924–1977)
[lower-alpha 1]
January 20, 1961November 22, 19632 years, 306 days Democratic Kennedy, John John F. Kennedy  (Dem)
(1961 – 1963)
-
Portrait officiel de W. Marvin Watson.jpg
Watson, Marvin Marvin Watson
(1924–2017)
[lower-alpha 1]
February 1, 1965April 26, 19683 years, 85 days Democratic Johnson, Lyndon Lyndon B. Johnson  (Dem)
(1963 – 1969)
-
James Robert Jones.jpg
Jones, James James R. Jones
(born 1939)
[lower-alpha 1]
April 26, 1968January 20, 1969269 days Democratic Johnson, Lyndon Lyndon B. Johnson  (Dem)
(1963 – 1969)
4
H R Haldeman, 1971 portrait.png
Haldeman, Harry H. R. Haldeman
(1926–1993)
January 20, 1969April 30, 19734 years, 100 days Republican Nixon, Richard Richard Nixon  (Rep)
(1969 – 1973)
Vacant
April 30, 1973 – May 4, 1973 (4 days)
5
Alexander Haig photo portrait as White House Chief of Staff black and white.jpg
Haig, Alexander Alexander Haig
(1924–2010)
May 4, 1973September 21, 19741 year, 140 days Republican Nixon, Richard Richard Nixon  (Rep)
(1969 – 1973)
Gerald Ford  (Rep)
(1974 – 1977)
6
Rumsfeld Ford admin Secretary of Defense.jpg
Rumsfeld, Donald Donald Rumsfeld
(born 1932)
September 21, 1974November 20, 19751 year, 60 days Republican Ford, Gerald Gerald Ford  (Rep)
(1974 – 1977)
7
Chief of Staff Dick Cheney during a meeting following the assassinations in Beirut, 1976 - NARA - 7064952.jpg
Cheney, Dick Dick Cheney
(born 1941)
November 20, 1975January 20, 19771 year, 61 days Republican Ford, Gerald Gerald Ford  (Rep)
(1974 – 1977)
Vacant
January 20, 1977 – July 18, 1979 (2 years, 179 days)
8
HamiltonJordan.jpg
Jordan, Hamilton Hamilton Jordan
(1944–2008)
July 18, 1979June 11, 1980329 days Democratic Carter, Jimmy Jimmy Carter  (Dem)
(1977 – 1981)
9
Watson 1977.jpg
Watson, Jack Jack Watson
(born 1938)
June 11, 1980January 20, 1981223 days Democratic Carter, Jimmy Jimmy Carter  (Dem)
(1977 – 1981)
10
Portraits of Assistants to President Ronald Reagan (cropped13).jpg
Baker, James James Baker
(born 1930)
January 20, 1981February 4, 19854 years, 15 days Republican Reagan, Ronald Ronald Reagan  (Rep)
(1981 – 1989)
11
Donaldtregan1.jpg
Regan, Donald Donald Regan
(1918–2003)
February 4, 1985February 27, 19872 years, 23 days Republican Reagan, Ronald Ronald Reagan  (Rep)
(1981 – 1989)
12
Howard Baker 1989.jpg
Baker, Howard Howard Baker
(1925–2014)
February 27, 1987July 1, 19881 year, 125 days Republican Reagan, Ronald Ronald Reagan  (Rep)
(1981 – 1989)
13
Ken duberstein.jpg
Duberstein, Kenneth Kenneth Duberstein
(born 1944)
July 1, 1988January 20, 1989203 days Republican Reagan, Ronald Ronald Reagan  (Rep)
(1981 – 1989)
14
John H. Sununu (cropped).jpg
Sununu, John John Sununu
(born 1939)
January 20, 1989December 16, 19912 years, 330 days Republican Bush, George George H. W. Bush  (Rep)
(1989 – 1993)
15
Samuel Knox Skinner.jpg
Skinner, Samuel Samuel Skinner
(born 1938)
December 16, 1991August 23, 1992251 days Republican Bush, George George H. W. Bush  (Rep)
(1989 – 1993)
16
JamesBaker.jpeg
Baker, James James Baker
(born 1930)
August 23, 1992January 20, 1993150 days Republican Bush, George George H. W. Bush  (Rep)
(1989 – 1993)
17
MackMclarty.jpg
McLarty, Mack Mack McLarty
(born 1946)
January 20, 1993July 17, 19941 year, 178 days Democratic Clinton, Bill Bill Clinton  (Dem)
(1993 – 2001)
18
Leon Panetta, informal photo.jpg
Panetta, Leon Leon Panetta
(born 1938)
July 17, 1994January 20, 19972 years, 187 days Democratic Clinton, Bill Bill Clinton  (Dem)
(1993 – 2001)
19
Erskine Bowles in 2010.jpg
Bowles, Erskine Erskine Bowles
(born 1945)
January 20, 1997October 20, 19981 year, 273 days Democratic Clinton, Bill Bill Clinton  (Dem)
(1993 – 2001)
20
John Podesta official WH portrait (cropped).jpg
Podesta, John John Podesta
(born 1949)
October 20, 1998January 20, 20012 years, 92 days Democratic Clinton, Bill Bill Clinton  (Dem)
(1993 – 2001)
21
A card.jpg
Card, Andrew Andrew Card
(born 1947)
January 20, 2001April 14, 20065 years, 84 days Republican Bush, George George W. Bush  (Rep)
(2001 – 2009)
22
Bolten Joshua.jpg
Bolten, Joshua Joshua Bolten
(born 1954)
April 14, 2006January 20, 20092 years, 281 days Republican Bush, George George W. Bush  (Rep)
(2001 – 2009)
23
Rahm Emanuel, official photo portrait color (cropped).jpg
Emanuel, Rahm Rahm Emanuel
(born 1959)
January 20, 2009October 1, 20101 year, 254 days Democratic Obama, Barack Barack Obama  (Dem)
(2009 – 2017)
-
Pete Rouse in the Oval Office.jpg
Rouse, Pete Pete Rouse
(born 1946)
Acting
[lower-alpha 2]
October 1, 2010January 13, 2011104 days Democratic Obama, Barack Barack Obama  (Dem)
(2009 – 2017)
24
William M. Daley official portrait (cropped).jpg
Daley, William Bill Daley
(born 1948)
January 13, 2011January 27, 20121 year, 14 days Democratic Obama, Barack Barack Obama  (Dem)
(2009 – 2017)
25
Jacob Lew official portrait (cropped).jpg
Lew, Jack Jack Lew
(born 1955)
January 27, 2012January 20, 2013359 days Democratic Obama, Barack Barack Obama  (Dem)
(2009 – 2017)
26
Denis McDonough (crop).jpg
McDonough, Denis Denis McDonough
(born 1969)
January 20, 2013January 20, 20174 years, 0 days Democratic Obama, Barack Barack Obama  (Dem)
(2009 – 2017)
27
Reince Priebus CPAC 2017 by Michael Vadon.jpg
Priebus, Reince Reince Priebus
(born 1972)
January 20, 2017July 31, 2017192 days Republican Trump, Donald Donald Trump  (Rep)
(since 2017)
28
John Kelly official DHS portrait (cropped).jpg
Kelly, John John F. Kelly
(born 1950)
July 31, 2017January 2, 20191 year, 154 days Independent Trump, Donald Donald Trump  (Rep)
(since 2017)
-
Mick Mulvaney official photo (cropped1).jpg
Mulvaney, Mick Mick Mulvaney
(born 1967)
Acting
[lower-alpha 3]
January 2, 2019Incumbent94 days Republican Trump, Donald Donald Trump  (Rep)
(since 2017)

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 De facto, as Appointments Secretary.
  2. Pete Rouse served as ad interim White House Chief of Staff following the resignation of Rahm Emanuel and until the appointment of Bill Daley.
  3. Mick Mulvaney serves as "Acting White House Chief of Staff" following the resignation of John Kelly.

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References

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  2. Karni, Annie; Haberman, Maggie (2018-12-08). "John Kelly to Step Down as Trump, Facing New Perils, Shakes Up Staff". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  3. Trump, Donald J. (2018-12-14). "I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration..." @realDonaldTrump. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  4. Swanson, Ian (2018-12-14). "Trump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. "New Quarters". Time . 1934-12-17. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  6. "An Appointment". Time . 1923-08-20. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  7. "Hamilton Jordan, Carter's Right Hand, Dies at 63". The New York Times. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  8. "The Presidency and the Political System" . Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  9. 1 2 3 Whipple, Chris. (2017). The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency. New York: Crown Publishing Group.
  10. "Transcript". CNN. August 13, 2018.
  11. Woodward, Bob; Bernstein, Carl. (1974) All the President's Men . New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN   978-0-671-21781-5
  12. Woodward, Bob. (2005). The Secret Man. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN   0-7432-8715-0