The political controversies surrounding Obama’s recent spate of recess appointments made us wonder how President Obama compares to other past presidents and their recess appointments. Looking at a simple bar chart graphing recess appointments since FDR, it’s not surprising to see that current complainants are taking a shortsighted approach to the issue. Click on the chart below to see a full-sized version.
UPDATE: As per some Facebook users’ suggestions, I’ve created a better chart that now controls for length of time in office. The chart below compares the presidents by ratio of days in office to total recess appointments. Quite a difference! Click to see a full-sized version:
(Thanks to Beth at the Senate Historical Office for sending over the data within minutes of my research request — impressive response time!)
Presidential recess appointments