The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

How many appointments do Presidents typically make?

Joe BidenAfter Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option,” I wondered… how many appointments and nominations do Presidents typically make? How many appointments did George Washington make? How many did Woodrow Wilson make? How about Nixon? Bush? Obama?

The answer is harder to find than I thought it would be. But admittedly, I did not spend a massive time searching.

If anyone has advice on this matter, it would be much appreciated. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe that as the federal government expands, more positions need to be filled, so the list likely grows over time, right?

I did reach out to Professor James P. Pfiffnerwho is very well-versed on the issue. It is hoped that he will get back to me. Unless he reads my stuff. Then he probably won’t get back to me. In case you are reading this, Mr. Pfiffner, I am not a George W. Bush fan either. Although I admit to believing Obama is worse, (much worse), but I hope you don’t hold that against me.

If you (dear reader) had to guess how many appointments Obama has made during his reign, what would you say? Without looking it up, take a guess and then find out here. (Since Van Jones is not listed, I am assuming the list is not all-inclusive, but it seems to be a good start.)

If you would be so inclined, let me know what your guess was in the comments below.

Did you come close? I did not.

After I saw the number of presidential nominations under Obama, I got to wondering, what if someone started looking into all these people. What if an organization or a tireless individual took the time to gather information about each individual? Would would they find? Would they find qualified candidates that are well-suited to their assigned roles? Or would they find ideologues, Obama bundlers and left-wing socialist radicals? How about under other presidents?

I decided to randomly (I swear, it was random!) select a person on the list.

The name was Daniel Baer.

So I googled him. The first article was from just yesterday, written by the awesomely-named David Badash. My random find, Daniel Baer, is mentioned in the Badash article that discusses how there was a gay wedding ceremony at the White House last night.

Yep. I did not know that, did you?

“Today may have been the biggest day of Wally Brewster’s life. In Washington, D.C. just a few hours ago, Vice President Joe Biden swore James “Wally” Brewster in as the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. And at 7:00 PM ET, Brewster married his long term partner and fiancé, Bob J. Satawake.”

The actual wedding was not actually in the White House, but the swearing-in ceremony was – then the wedding itself happened at a hotel with “a view of the White House South Lawn.” What does this have to do with Baer, you ask? Because Baer is also a gay presidential appointee (not that there is anything wrong with that).

“Confirmed by the Senate less than two weeks ago, Brewster becomes the fifth openly-gay U.S. Ambassador this year alone. HRC lists John Berry in Australia, James Costos in Spain, Rufus Gifford in Denmark, and Daniel Baer as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as the other four, along with Jim Hormel, Michael Guest and David Huebner in previous years.”

Not surprisingly, Wally Brewster is a “longtime Democratic fund-raiser,” according to the Advocate. The Chicago Sun Times went further, reporting that Brewster raised over $500k for Obama.

The author, Lynn Sweet, writes,

“Brewster was one of Obama’s very top “bundlers” during the 2012 re-election campaign, using his own networks to raise donations from other contributors for the Obama/Biden ticket.”

I hate to ask, but why does it matter if someone is gay or not? Shouldn’t people be appointed because they have the passion, skills, knowledge, experience, etc? You know, that whole “content of character” thing? Oh well. Perhaps speculating makes me anti-gay.

Here is Daniel’s Twitter account. He is the “U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)” Now, with a name like that, one would think that the OSCE has something to do with security. Well, I guess it does. Kind of. If you count gun control. Here is an interesting bit from the website:

“Recognizing that democratic elections form the basis for legitimate government, the OSCE observes elections throughout its 57 participating States.”

Maybe that is why Obama thought there were 57 states in the USA?  I am surprised that they observe elections. Are they racist? Hopefully they don’t expect people to identify themselves.

Although I went entirely off topic, the point here is that there are likely more presidential appointees than you thought there were. And is this something that should be a concern? I answer with a resounding yes.

Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and Facebook
Check out her news and political commentary on Tavern KeepersGather and the Examiner for news you won’t find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.

Renee Nal is a co-founder of TavernKeepers.com, a news and political commentary site founded by former Glenn Beck interns. She is also the National Conservative Examiner and a contributor for the Brenner Brief.

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  • Howard Portnoy

    Renee, for starters, here is a list of just federal judges (source: Wikikpedia).

    As of November 7, 2013, the total number of Obama Article III judgeship nominees to be confirmed by the United States Senate is 211, including two Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States, 39 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, 168 judges to the United States district courts, and two judges to the United States Court of International Trade. The total is 420. He was 53 awaiting Senate action.

    George W. Bush, in contrast, appointed a total of 325 federal judges during his 8 years as president — 2 SCOTUS Justices, 62 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 261 judges to the United States district courts.

    For Bill Clinton, the total is 373, including appointed two SCOTUS Justices, 66 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 305 to the United States district courts.

    It is worth bearing in mind, of course, that circumstances (i.e., vacancies) determine when these positions come open. The far more important stat, that you reference in your post, is the nature of the president’s picks. In this regard, Obama has been far more radical than his predecessors.

    • Renee Nal

      And these are judges alone! Whew.

      • Renee Nal

        According to Professor Pfiffner’s site:

        “Since Roosevelt’s Presidency, the Executive Office of the President has gained about 2,000 people, and the number of political appointees has increased to more than 7,000. Setting aside White House staffers and about 3,000 part time Presidential appointments, each new President fills about 3,000 positions with his or her partisans.”


      • Howard Portnoy

        Another interesting graphic is one in this WaPo article that actually comes out in the Dems’ defense for killing the filibuster. Notice how the number of filibusters skyrockets during the middle years of the GWB era. Again, this is all relative. It could that he made more questionable appointments, or it could be that the Dems, once they were in control of Congress, were simply tougher on him.

      • Renee Nal

        In 2005, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tried to rationalize his consideration for the nuclear option, (which ultimately never even came to a vote), by saying this:

        “It is time for 100 senators to decide the issue of fair up-or-down votes for judicial nominees after over two years of unprecedented obstructionism.”

        Where have I heard that before… hmmmm


      • Gal Spunes

        Yes….this is the ugly truth.

        Both sides have been toying with this notion for many years.

        Finally, the Dems have had the balls to march forward with it.

        The GOP is dead.

        My guns are loaded.

  • teejk

    In case people are wondering about my post volume today, I am procrastinating on a volunteer project for a local non-profit and I have no teeth in need of a root canal.

    Obama will reset the bar on “lame duck”. His signature achievement initiative ain’t looking so good now but he wants to leave some mark on history.

    20 years ago I had to meet a tax official in Eindhoven (Netherlands). Seeing what I thought was a relatively new city, I asked the taxi driver about it. He explained that the city was old but was leveled by the Germans the day before Germany surrendered in WWII.

    Anybody needing me to explain that analogy, holler back.

    • Howard Portnoy

      In case people are wondering about my post volume today, I am procrastinating on a volunteer project for a local non-profit and I have no teeth in need of a root canal.

      I for one wasn’t wondering. I’m always delighted to read your comments — even the ones that seem to equate commenting here with having root canal surgery. ;-)

      • teejk

        everything is relative Howard…my non-profit project and the root canal are a toss-up…you guys are the painless diversion (did I ever mention that IMHO everybody has that attention deficit disorder thing? I don’t know what they call it today because they keep changing the name…I was thinking HDTV but my wife says that is our television…then I suggested HGTV but she told me that was on channel on our television). I get as confused with attention deficit terms as I do with what to call POC…why can’t they pick one and live with it?