“Policy Wonks” In The White House

It is uncommon to have a President who is a “policy wonk”, a person who delves into the details of policies.

After all, that is what White House staff and cabinet officers are for.

But yet, we have had “policy wonks” that have been President, and not always for the good.

Who among our Presidents clearly qualifies as a “policy wonk”?

Well, we have Abraham Lincoln, who spent innumerable hours a day trying to keep track of every detail of the Civil War.

Theodore Roosevelt put his eyes, ears, and hands into keeping track of everything imaginable, even after he left the Presidency.

Woodrow Wilson, as a good scholar, was intimately involved in every detail of his Presidency, until he suffered a stroke in the middle of his seventh year in the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt became a great detail man on every aspect of the New Deal and on foreign policy crises.

John F. Kennedy was always on top of everything going on in his administration.

Lyndon B. Johnson kept track of Great Society programs and the casualty counts in the Vietnam War, and was obsessive-complusive.

Richard Nixon was fanatical in keeping track of everything, including details of White House dinners, and that is a major reason why he taped every Oval Office conversation.

Jimmy Carter was obsessive in being intimately involved in his administration’s policies.

Barack Obama has, certainly, been a hands on President in every sense of the word.

And finally, it is clear that Hillary Clinton is a policy wonk, a very bright and perceptive woman, who will not let anything pass her by when she is elected President.

16 comments on ““Policy Wonks” In The White House

  1. Pragmatic Progressive October 29, 2016 12:55 pm

    I hope his actions don’t cause her to lose the election, causing us to wind up with Dictator Trump.

  2. Southern Liberal October 29, 2016 1:02 pm

    Winning Progressive’s Facebook blog has pointed out the following:
    1. The emails the FBI is investigating did not come from Clinton’s private server.
    2. The emails were not to or from Clinton.
    3. Some or all of the emails might be duplicates of messages that the FBI has reviewed already.
    4. Comey violated FBI policy by interfering with a presidential election in the final sixty days before Election Day.
    5. Comey possibly violated the Hatch Act of 1939 in an attempt to influence the presidential election.

  3. Rational Lefty October 29, 2016 1:11 pm

    Prior to this email non-scandal, the media said it was a blowout. Now they’ll be back to saying it’s a horse race.

  4. MichaelThePissedOffProgressive October 29, 2016 4:40 pm

    My God, man! Could you be any more vague and broad? If you are going to make a cliam about rhe pros and cons of a vague phrase like “policy wonk” then you should explain how it can be good and how it can be bad and use details and nuance, not simplistic random one-liners that you can basically interchange between every president you listed. And if you ar claiming that Hillary is a policy wonk, and cliaming that she will “not let anything pass her by” then you had better explain what the heck you even mean by that. I got to your webpage because I was searchign things related to “progressives”, and so far there isnt a single example from any of the articles Ive read that you are even close to being a Porgressive. All Ive seen so far are vague and typical Left Wing Establishment Apologetics, in all their vague and meaninglessly broad and unsubstantiated glory. I’m a Left Winger, and a Progressive, and websites like this reinforce why I can’t support most Democrats anymore.
    If you call yourself a Progressive, then stop being so fundamentally Establishment, please. Im trying to find a reason to vote for her, and random sound blurb platitudes like “she will not let anything pass her by” is completely meaningless to me unless you are referring to all of the principles and issues that policies and opportunities to do great things that she let pass her by on her way to Wall Street and The BeltWay and whatever $100,000 per plate elitist donor dinner she fleeced on any given day. Why should I vote for her? Can anyone answer that question with specifics and details and without using the words “trump” or republicans”?

  5. Southern Liberal October 29, 2016 9:48 pm

    I feel like turning the news off for the last 10 days of this wacky election.

  6. Ronald October 30, 2016 10:45 am

    Michael, this is a general observation, not designed to be a full blown dissertation on the subject.

    That is not the purpose of a blog which has entries usually no more than a few hundred words.

    I have issues with Hillary Clinton, and wished for Joe Biden to be the nominee, and also liked Bernie Sanders, although I believe he would have been totally destroyed by the opposition, had he been the nominee.

    If you choose to refuse to vote for her, let us just hope that the result is not as with Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and Al Gore in 2000.

  7. Ronald October 30, 2016 12:35 pm

    Thanks, Pragmatic Progressive, for sharing this once again.

    It may or may not help convince Michael and others, but it certainly provides food for thought!

  8. Ronald October 30, 2016 12:42 pm

    I have just published an article on History News Network, my 42nd article this year, entitled: “So You Are Considering Voting For a 3rd Party Candidate For President?”. It will be on the right side of the blog sometime soon under Articles and Op-Eds, but Michael and all my other readers can look at it now by typing in historynewsnetwork.org.

  9. Paul Doyle October 30, 2016 2:56 pm

    Hey, Michael.
    Donald Trump is pissed off, too.

  10. Princess Leia October 31, 2016 12:16 pm

    For those of us who post here regularly, it boils down to this: Hillary is the only one of the candidates who is knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world and has the temperament to be President, qualities that Stein, Johnson, and Trump sorely lack.

  11. Ronald November 7, 2016 12:23 pm

    Thanks, Rational Lefty, great article! 🙂

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