Vanderbilt Law Review


Thomas Blau

First Page



The problems of the Presidency are not new. The transformation has occurred in the evaluation of such behavior and especially in the concept of the proper balance between the Presidency and Congress.Changing personalities in office may account for much of the evolution of the institutional critiques. Organizing the Presidency--much to Stephen Hess's credit--does not participate in the simplistic version of this dialectic. Despite having served on the staffs of two Presidents, he calls for a drastic diminution in the power of the White House staff in favor of its rival, the Cabinet. An effective Presidency, in his view,requires a more nearly collegial administration in which Cabinet officers constitute the principal sources of advice and are personally accountable to the President for the operation of their segments of the government. Reviewing the evolution of the modern Presidency, Hess argues that the size of the staff is not the cause of the presidential malaise, but rather is an effect.