As the Obama Administration puts off until April a government efficiency plan promised in February, we’re reminded yet again that the president still has not filled the top positions at the Treasury Department.Â Given that economic woes our nation faces (about which he continually reminds us), shouldn’t that be his primary focus?
Today completes the second month of Barack Obama’s presidency and it’s not just key positions in that key Department which remain unfilled.Â Not just that, two of his cabinet appointees, Kathleen Sebelius to HHS and Gary Locke to Commerce, have yet to be confirmed.
So, let’s compare Obama’s record in picking a cabinet with that of his much maligned predecessor, recalling that the incumbent had five more weeks to staff his Administration before taking office than did George W. Bush just over eight years ago.
As Wikipedia provides the days the various Department Secretaries took office which I summarize below.Â In preparing this chart, we see that Bush did a better job of staffing the upper echelons of his Administration than the incumbent has done.
Check below the jump to see the appointees and the dates they took office:
Secretary of State:Â Colin Powell (January 20, 2001)Â Â Â Hillary Clinton (January 21, 2009)
Secretary of the Treasury:Â Paul O’Neill (January 20, 2001)Â Timothy Geithner (January 26, 2009)
Secretary of Defense:Â Donald Rumsfeld (January 20, 2001)Â Robert Gates (Bush Administration holdover)
Attorney General:Â Â John Ashcroft (February 2, 2001)Â Eric Holder (February 3, 2009)
Secretary of the Interior:Â Gale Norton (January 31, 2001)Â Ken Salazar (January 20, 2009)
Secretary of Agriculture:Â Ann Veneman (January 20, 2001)Â Tom Vilsack (Janaury 20, 2009)
Secretary of Commerce:Â Donald Evans (January 20, 2001)Â Gary Locke (not yet confirmed)
Secretary of Labor:Â Â Elaine Chao (January 29, 2001)Â Â Hilda Solis (February 24, 2009)
Secretary of Health and Human Services:Â Tommy Thompson (February 2, 2001)Â Kathleen SebeliusÂ (not yet confirmed)
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:Â Â Mel Martinez (January 24, 2001)Â Shaun Donovan (January 26, 2009)
Secretary of Transportation:Â Norman Mineta (January 25, 2001)Â Ray LaHood (January 22, 2009)
Secretary of Energy:Â Â Spencer Abraham (January 20, 2001)Â Norman Chu (January 21, 2009)
Secretary of Education:Â Rod Paige (January 20, 2001)Â Arne Duncan (January 20, 2009)
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: Anthony Principi (January 23, 2009)Â Eric Shinseki (January 21, 2009)
Secretary of Homeland Security:Â (Not then created)Â Â Janet Napolitano (January 23, 2009)
Other Cabinet-level positions requiring Senate confirmation
Director of the Office of Management and Budget:Â Â Â Mitch Daniels (January 23, 2001)Â Peter OrszagÂ (January 20, 2009)
United States Trade Representative:Â Robert ZoellickÂ (January 20, 2001)Â Ron Kirk (March 18, 2009)
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:Â Christine Todd Whitman (January 31, 2001)Â Â Lisa P. Jackson (January 22, 2009)
Ambassador to the United Nations:Â John Negroponte (September 15, 2001) Â Susan Rice (January 22, 2009)
Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors:Â Robert Glenn Hubbard (February 2001)Â Christina Romer (January 28, 2009)