Obama famously said he wanted a “team of rivals” in his Cabinet. Why that never happened:

The way Cabinet officers relate personally to the president is—no surprise—often the crucial factor in their success or failure. Colin Powell had a worldwide profile and a higher approval rating than George W. Bush, and partly for those very reasons had trouble building a close rapport with a president who had lots to be modest about. Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, may have a Nobel Prize in physics, but that counted for little when he once tried to make a too elaborate visual presentation to the president. Obama said to him after the third slide, as one witness recalls, ‘O.K., I got it. I’m done, Steve. Turn it off.’

“Team of Mascots.” — Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair

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