Devos's Embattled Confirmation Emblematic of Trump's Cabinet

Feb 10, 2017

After a lengthy confirmation hearing, protests, and two Republicans breaking with their party to vote no, President Donald Trump's education secretary pick, Betsy Devos, was confirmed by the Senate. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted, "It is a disgrace that my full cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country." [This statement is demonstrably false and will continue to be unless the confirmation process of Trump's cabinet takes an additional seven weeks. President Bill Clinton didn't have his final spot filled until March 11, President George HW Bush's cabinet took until March 17 to be fully in place, and President Barack Obama's last cabinet member wasn't voted on until April 28.] 

Rachel Caufield, associate professor of political science at Drake University, says that a combination of factors led to the delay. 

"I wouldn't put it all at the feet of the Democrats. He was a little slow in announcing many of his cabinet picks, and just objectively looking at who he has chosen--these are not your traditional cabinet picks. And so the idea that the Senate is taking some additional time, and Democrats, in particular, are objecting to them in a different kind of way, I think that's what we would probably expect."

In this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Caufield and Jim McCormick, professor of political science at Iowa State University, about this week's political news.