The Cabinet Meeting: II
I T is evident from the investigation of institutional form and presidential behavior that forces beyond the Chief Executive- Cabinet nexus condition Cabinet-meeting activity. The most significant of these are the centrifugal forces which come into play through the actions of individual Cabinet members. These forces will be examined in detail in succeeding chapters. Suffice it to say now that the members have a participant's-eye view of the meeting, with a non-presidential, non-Cabinet logic quite its own. It is a logic the compelling assumptions of which are rooted in the pluralism of the American political system. The pattern of development for the several departments was one of great diversity in purpose, structure, and clientele. The atmosphere of their growth encouraged a free-wheeling independence among the Cabinet's constituent units. Each Cabinet member, moreover, is the product of an appointment process characterized by the inter-determination of many variables -- a process designed to build diversity into the Cabinet.
The objectively pluralistic conditions of departmental growth and of Cabinet appointment nourish their own subjective counterparts. Each Cabinet member has his own particularistic, departmental raison d'être. His attitude tends, likewise, to be particularistic and departmental. He develops much less of a group feeling than an individualistic one, and he more readily identifies with his department than with the Cabinet. His lack of group identification is aggravated, furthermore, by all the personal dif
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Publication information: Book title: The President's Cabinet:An Analysis in the Period from Wilson to Eisenhower. Contributors: Richard F. Fenno - Author. Publisher: Harvard University Press. Place of publication: Cambridge, MA. Publication year: 1959. Page number: 131.