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Article
Obama’s Empty Cupboard: Contending with Administrative Vacancies and the Threat to Neutral Competence
International Journal of Public Administration (2009)
  • Justin S. Vaughn, Cleveland State University
  • José D. Villalobos, University of Texas at El Paso
Abstract

In this essay, we focus on the public administration challenge concerning the rising number of politically motivated administrative vacancies resulting from George W. Bush's tenure in office with which President Barack Obama must now contend. We argue that the hyper-politicization of personnel decision-making during the presidency of George W. Bush left many parts of the federal bureaucracy understaffed, yet more densely populated by staffers chosen more for ideological and political congruence than administrative competence. For President Obama to achieve key aspects of his policy agenda, he must first attend to fixing these staffing problems and then to reforming the personnel process to prevent similar problems from plaguing future presidential administrations.

Keywords
  • politicization,
  • executive,
  • presidency,
  • vacancies,
  • neutral competence
Publication Date
2009
Publisher Statement
Copyright © Taylor & Francis and Informa UK Limited, an Informa Group Company. Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01900690903010186#.UqTwtJjn_cs
Citation Information
Justin S. Vaughn and José D. Villalobos. "Obama’s Empty Cupboard: Contending with Administrative Vacancies and the Threat to Neutral Competence" International Journal of Public Administration Vol. 32 Iss. 9 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/justin_vaughn/10/