Wednesday, May 23, 2012
RONALD REAGAN'S KITCHEN CABINET, AND KITCHEN CABINETS IN THE AGE OF SUPER PACS
THEN & NOW
JUSTIN DART, HOLMES TUTTLE,
& WILLIAM FRENCH SMITH (l to r)
Members of RONALD REAGAN's Kitchen Cabinet
Published in BUSINESS WEEK, July 28, 1980, p. 42
"Closest to the candidate [Reagan] is a small band of conservative California businessmen who pushed Reagan into politics after a series of living room discussions in 1966 and who have provided the financial support to keep him there ever since," said the article (on p. 41). "The group includes Holmes Tuttle, who owns a string of Los Angeles auto dealerships; William French Smith, a prominent West Coast attorney; Justin Dart, founder of Dart Industries Inc.; and William A. Wilson [not pictured], a rancher with substantial real estate holdings."
That was 1980. Looking back almost a decade after Ronald Reagan retired from the White House, in 1998 Bob Colacello reflected in Vanity Fair on the president's "California tycoons": "Known as the Kitchen Cabinet -- a term that goes back to the gang of cronies who unofficially advised President Andrew Jackson -- they reached the apex of their power in 1981, when they helped pick President Reagan's first Cabinet." (William French Smith became the Attorney General in that first Cabinet.)
In May 2012, in the age of Super PACs, we find this comment: "'You don't have kitchen cabinets made up of well-intentioned friends and neighbors who don't know what they're doing but eat up a lot of your time,' said Bob Schuman, who ran a super PAC called Americans for Rick Perry during the Republic presidential primaries."
The point is apparently supposed to be that political operatives who know what they are doing are to replace the amateur kitchen cabinets. Just a small note: Ronald Reagan with his kitchen cabinet managed to win the Republican presidential nomination and the election; Rick Perry and his Super PAC did not even manage to win the nomination. Just the facts; no doubt, not totally fair, but the facts, in the face of a bit of know-it-all-ness.