How do you get a political appintment?

hagertyr@..., a user from, asked this question on 12/26/2000:


I am the Dean of The School of Education at a large public university in Michigan, and I have over 30 years experience in k-12 school leadership, mostly as a superintendent. I am a Republican and a supporter of charter schools and vouchers as the ultimate in parental affirmative action for their children. I am interested in serving in Bush administration in the Department of Education. I have never been politically connected or visably involved in working for candidate elections.

Please advise whether I have any chance of getting some kind of US Dept. of Education Appointment---and if so, how should I proceed?

JesseGordon gave this response on 12/26/2000:

Hee, hee, I'm looking for the same sort of appointment, but in the EPA instead of DOE. I've asked my "political insider" buddies how to proceed, and here's what they advised me:

First (and I'm afraid you're too late for this if you haven't already), donate some money to the Bush campaign. I think you can still donate at if you hurry. I know this sure sounds like a kickback, but those in-the-know assure me that your donation history WILL be checked.

Second, wait a week until your check gets posted from that (I sent a check in June, and a resume in July, after I went to the FEC web site to see that my donation had gotten posted).

Third, find out the person who is responsible for the sort of job you're interested in. I did that during the campaign by calling the campaign HQ and asking who was the environmental policy person. I will do that same thing again next week; it's still just a "transition" staff. My plan is to find the transition person in charge of enviro stuff, and e-mail a resume and detailed cover letter; then send the same via the on-line application form at

After Jan 20, I'll look for the same sort of person within EPA (i.e., Christie Todd Whitman's transition person in charge of hiring staff). That's the real person to find -- everything prior to that is just preliminary stuff. The idea of the preliminaries is to get your resume into the pile, so you're there already when they begin looking seriously. And if you're lucky, you'll get a call from that pile itself; I'm not high-level enough to expect thta but maybe you are.

So in short -- send a donation today; send your resume next week to the transition person in charge of education; then wait until Bush picks a head of the DOE and get another contact then.

Return to index