A New Defense Secretary


The Senate approved the appointment of new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last week. This can provide lots of evidence for students – the vote was almost unanimous, which undermines arguments about bipartisanship in Congress and gives a good example of Congress carrying out it’s constitutional roles. Equally, his background gives a good, and recent, example of the requirement in the US cabinet to be more closely linked to the Department you are going to run (unlike in the UK). With Biden present at the swearing in, a savvy student could also link this to the importance of the VP – Biden’s place on the ticket was largely down to his foreign policy experience; having him supporting the appointment of the new Defense Secretary for a President who has lost control of both houses of Congress could be a ploy to show executive strength in Obama’s final two years.