THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: Look for an Ickes or Two

Harold Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior under Franklin Roosevelt, once got a phone call from the White House, and one of those self-inflated aides began the conversation with, "The President wants you to ..." The experienced curmudgeon quickly interrupted: "Oh, yeah? Then let me talk to him."

That is the most succinct and accurate explanation of what is described as Cabinet Government: a President and a Secretary working together with no in-betweens. Ickes knew Roosevelt's heart and mind and devised brilliant policy innovations within that framework. The Secretary battled adversaries, wooed friends, took sweeping bows for success, the kicks in...

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