On Presidential Firings
by Jules Witcover
President Obama's firing of
Shinseki's congressional testimony that he was "mad as hell" about the backlog and delays, delivered too calmly for many legislators' ears, intensified the demand for his scalp. Up to then, he had been a hero among anti-war liberals for accurately warning before the 2003
But after much praise from Obama and indications of support, the president buckled in the face of the clamor to dump Shinseki. He cited the secretary's judgment that staying in the job would have been a "distraction," and said he reluctantly agreed with it.
In the annals of presidential profiles in courage, it was not Obama's finest hour. Only recently he had stood behind his health and human services secretary,
Perhaps the most reprehensible example came in 1944, when
In 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, when
Later that year, Vice President
Agnew later wrote dramatically that they "brought the traditional suicide pistol and laid it on my desk." He still refused to step down, demanding a personal meeting with Nixon, who again waffled. Agnew finally submitted his resignation as part of a deal to escape jail time.
Only 11 days later, Nixon did order Attorney General
In 1979 in the midst of a national energy crisis,
In 1985, a major shakeup took place under Reagan, but he merely acquiesced in it.
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Article: Copyright © 2014, Tribune Content Agency
"On Presidential Firings"