Saturday, February 26, 2011
Barack Obama 2012: Hiring and firing. Mikhail Kryzhanovsky, KGB
Hiring and firing
The appointment power is an extremely important tool enabling you to gain control of your administration and direct national policy. Numbers first: 1,125 Presidential appointees require Senate confirmation, including 185 Ambassadors, 94 District Attorneys, 94 US Marshals. (The Senate, though, may use its confirmation power as a political bargaining trick and “put on hold” your nominee until you agree to do them a favor — actually, they keep him a political hostage).
Office of Presidential Personnel makes decisions or recommends President’s actions on 5842 jobs. Ten forms must be executed by the candidate, including a White House personal data statement, a waiver permitting the review of past tax returns, FBI questionnaire, a financial disclosure statement for the Office of Government Ethics so that identify possible conflicts of interests.
Avoid criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics, homosexuals. All come with a risk of future embarrassments.
Avoid widespread mistake of hiring staff and the Cabinet judging by communication abilities and not by professional skills; remember — efficiency is low if staff consists of old or young people only.
Do not hire your wife, please; or anyone else who cannot be fired.
Look through previous administrations’ lists, talk to chairs of Congress committees, college professors (law, economics, national security), big business (friends, partners, donors). Pressure from your congressional supporters will influence most of your appointments.
Do not hire independent persons, no matter how experienced they are.
Follow the quotas (one black Secretary and one Latino)
Interview key positions candidates in person (Chief of Staff and his Deputies, all Assistants, Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries, federal agencies chiefs, US Ambassadors) and use the following criteria:
- commitment to your philosophy and program
- integrity and personal qualifications
- experience and skills
- no personal agenda
- toughness needed to fight the Washington establishment (Congress + media + interest groups)
Give key positions to your campaign donors and team members who showed to you personal loyalty. No key positions go to another political party members. It’s advisable that you give a Secretary of Defense position to somebody who is expert in weapons systems and defense budgeting.
Find jobs for some defeated Congress members. Please.
Don’t hesitate to hire a personal assistant on any problem .
Talk straight and demand loyalty .
It’s good to take newly appointed Cabinet members and senior White House staff to Camp David for some informal meeting, drinks and the first open discussion on your future policy.