<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Albert R. Hunt</p> <p>President Dwight Eisenhower's Cabinet, unveiled 60 years ago, was made up of nine businessmen and a plumber, Labor Secretary Martin Durkin, who had been a leader of the plumber's union.</p> <p>That was the last time the Cabinet didn't include high-voltage politicians. There's a reason.</p> <p>"Elected officials have dealt with constituencies," notes Shirley Warshaw, a presidential scholar at Gettysburg College.  "They better understand the political nature of decision-making."</p> <p>After Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy chose three governors and a member of Congress for his initial Cabinet. Next, Richard Nixon, who'd been Ike's vice president, tapped three governors, a lieutenant governor and a House Republican leader. There were a half-dozen elected politicians in President Jimmy Carter's team.</p> <p>Ronald Reagan, who was governor of California, had more legislators than governors in his Cabinet; so did his successor, George H.W. Bush. His son, President George W. Bush, a former Texas governor, returned to form with seven governors serving in his Cabinet over his two terms.</p> <p>The top four Cabinet posts are secretary of state, defense, Treasury and justice. President Bill Clinton named two politicians to these posts: Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen at Treasury and Congressman Les Aspin to Defense; in the second Clinton term, former Senator Bill Cohen was at the Pentagon.</p> <p> As I discuss in my <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-10/why-does-obama-keep-his-cabinet-all-stars-on-the-bench-.html">column today</a>, President Barack Obama has enlisted governors and members of Congress, eight in all, in the first term. Some prominent elected officials are now leaving, but he's adding five-term Senator John Kerry as secretary of state and, if confirmed, two-term former Senator Chuck Hagel at defense.</p> <p>(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/AlHuntDC">Twitter</a>.)</p> <p>Read more breaking commentary from Bloomberg View columnists and editors at the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/view/the-ticker/">Ticker</a>.</p> <p><br class="spacer_"></p> </body> </html>