If you want the president to have effective power to govern via the bureaucracy, you’ll want him to be able to overcome some of the problem of bringing the agencies to heel. A big part of the problem is that agents almost necessarily have information their principals need but don’t have, and can use these asymmetries in information – can dole it out or withhold it or misrepresent it – to manipulate the principal into wanting what the agents wanted all along. Just think about how brazenly the CIA lies to congressional oversight committees. There’s no reason to think they don’t do it to presidents, too.
The most effective presidents, in terms of overcoming agency problems, will be those with strong preexisting networks within the bureaucracies willing to circumvent the de facto power structure and independently transmit reliable information straight to the White House. One reason I thought in 2008, and still think today, that Hillary Clinton would have been a more effective chief executive than Barack Obama is that a senator and insider wife of a two-term president is much more likely to have useful allies and contacts within the bureaucracy than a green, freshman senator new to town. And what’s even better than that? The son of a former CIA director, vice-president and president, who is also the brother of a two-term president. If Jeb Bush is worried that somebody in the CIA or State Department is dicking him around, there’s a good chance he knows a guy who knows a guy who is owed a big favor and can get him the straight scoop. And that’s power – the power by which the government renders the far-flung and opaque permanent state governable.
It may well be that the insider power of dynastic presidents amounts to a form of corruption, as our populist, republican instincts suggest. But it may also be that, given the vast scope of the modern state, presidents without this sort of power can’t really be said to be in charge. And the enormous, deadly, often malign power of the sprawling American security state makes it worth asking whether a decent president who isn’t really in charge is better than an odious one who is.
– Andrew Sullivan, „The Case for Jeb Bush (or Hillary)„
Wow. Von der Seite hab ich das noch nie betrachtet.