Aug 14, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden's stable Cabinet

Partnership for Public Service; Note: Includes 15 primary Cabinet positions; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden is heading into his re-election campaign with more of his initial Cabinet team in place than his predecessors.

Why it matters: Stability is a key argument for Biden's campaign, with plans to highlight a resilient economy that has shrugged off frequent predictions of a recession.

Driving the news: Timed with the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden's Cabinet is fanning out across the country this week to convince the public that his three signature pieces of legislation — on infrastructure, renewable energy and semiconductors — will improve their lives.

What we're watching: In the late spring, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients quietly informed members of the Cabinet that if they planned to leave, they should do so by the end of the summer.

  • With Zients' window now basically closed, no one has indicated that they plan to leave, according to a person familiar with the matter.

By the numbers: Biden officially includes 26 members of his administration in his Cabinet, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Zients and — his latest addition — CIA director William Burns.

In the presidential line of succession, Biden has 15 members, providing a baseline number to compare him with his predecessors.

  • Of those 15, he has lost only one: Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
  • At this point four years ago, President Trump had seen nine departures.

What to watch: Cabinet departures for health or personal reasons are always a possibility.

  • But given the difficulty that acting Labor Secretary Julie Su has had getting confirmed by the Senate, Cabinet officials know they would be leaving the president in a difficult spot.
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