Explaining Increasing Turnover Rates among Presidential Advisers, 1929-1997

The transformation of the presidential electoral process from a party-controlled to a media-driven candidate-centered system has made it increasingly difficult for presidents to meld governing and campaigning expertise within a single White House-centered advisory organization. This is because the skills needed to win office are increasingly divorced from those needed to govern effectively. As presidential priorities shift from campaigning to governing (or vice versa), then, presidents must reorganize their advisory system to maximize the usefulness of those aides possessing the requisite talents and experiences. The findings from a logistic regression analyzing the causes of staff turnover during the period 1929-1997 are consistent with the claim that higher rates of presidential staff turnover are linked to changes in the presidential selection process.