Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Presidential Madness (Round 9): Pick the best secretary of state ever!

April 1, 2013 by NCC Staff


At Constitution Daily, madness doesn’t just apply to the NCAA—it’s also an awesome excuse to give the bracket treatment to the executive branch of government. This year, it’s all about the presidential Cabinet.

jeffersonclinton 640Get into Presidential Madness by downloading a bracket [PDF] and predicting who you think will make it to the finals as best Cabinet member of all time. Check in and vote each day at Constitution Daily for the latest round of polling.

Round 9: Best secretary of state ever!

In earlier voting, our readers chose the best historical and modern secretaries of state from a star-studded field of diplomats.

In the historical division, Thomas Jefferson edged out James Madison in the fight between the Founding Fathers. William Seward and John Quincy Adams were also contenders in a four-way battle of big historical names.

In the modern division, Hillary Clinton had an easier time, taking an impressive 46 percent of the vote in defeating Henry Kissinger, George Marshall and Condoleeza Rice.

So in our next round, readers will need to make a tough decision.

Jefferson was the nation’s first official secretary of state. He was personally appointed by his fellow Virginian, George Washington, to the post. Jefferson’s clashes within the cabinet, with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, led to the formation of the nation’s first opposition party.

After leaving Washington’s cabinet, Jefferson was chosen as vice president in 1796 and won two elections as president.

Clinton’s career included early legal positions in the Watergate investigation; public roles in the Arkansas administration of her husband, William Jefferson Clinton; her very high-profile turn as first lady; election as a U.S. senator from New York; and a four-year term as secretary of state for President Barack Obama.

Clinton is often named in polls ranking the most influential people in national and international politics, and she’s often mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Pick your favorite in our polls below, and check back each day to see a new Presidential Madness vote!

[polldaddy poll="7005997"]

Note: If you can’t see the poll above, use this link:


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