Obama’s 5 Worst Cabinet Secretaries

On the heels of listing his 5 best, Whispers insiders tag the worst agency bosses.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Personal and policy controversies and, for some, invisibility on key issues facing the nation are the hallmark of those on the latest Whispers list: President Obama’s five worst cabinet secretaries. What stands out about this list is that agencies that are normally found on the “best” lists of previous administrations rank at the top of our insiders’ worst list. [ See a slide show of the 5 worst cabinet secretaries.]

As with the previous list, President Obama’s 5 Best Cabinet Secretaries, Whispers asked Washington insiders from both sides of the aisle to size up the new cabinet. Just as it’s done on American Idol, we tallied the votes to come up with the new list.

Two general themes emerged from the insiders. First, cabinet secretaries mired in controversy, like Treasury’s Tim Geithner, Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano, and Attorney General Eric Holder, rose to the top. Then there are the little-known cabinet bosses running agencies that should be front and center fighting the economic battle: Labor’s Hilda Solis and Housing’s Shaun Donovan.

See the full list here.

  • See a slide show of Obama’s 5 best cabinet secretaries.
  • See a slide show of the 10 keys to an Obama comeback.
  • See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.