Who really runs our government? Of course, there are the major actors. The president sets broad policy and makes major decisions, congressional leaders play a huge role, and one Supreme Court justice can change the course of history. Then there is the Federal Reserve.
But there are many people in support roles who can make or break, or even create, policy. That’s why the book The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency by Chris Whipple has caught my eye.
Chris Whipple is a writer, documentary filmmaker, journalist, and speaker. The Gatekeepers, published April 4, 2017, is probably the first in-depth look at the president’s closest confidants.
Presidents have always had key advisors. But in the twentieth century the presidency grew to where the White House Chief of Staff has become arguably the second most important job in our government. To compile this profile, Whipple interviewed all seventeen living chiefs of staff and two former presidents, and the result show how a competent chief (James Baker for Ronald Reagan) can help achieve a successful term, or how a deficiency in that position can be crippling (who was running the White House under Jimmy Carter?).
So as a history nerd myself, this is going to be my next read.
More information is at http://www.chriswhipple.net/about-chris-whipple/.