Shortly after the election, President George W. Bush initiated a major restructuring of his cabinet. The post-election weeks have been filled with the drama of the selection process: who was in, who was out, whom would the President choose to fill the empty slots? Come January, the drama will move to Capitol Hill, for the hearings, floor speeches and votes that make up the Senate confirmation process. A Senate tradition of deferring to Presidents on their selections particularly for Cabinet appointments has lost strength, and instead has been replaced by a practice of opposition party Senators using nominations to attack the President and his party and hone their opposition party message for mass consumption. This paper looks at President Bushs new Cabinet appointments in light of these developments in the confirmation process, and offers some predictions for what will happen in January.
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