Other political figures who backed out of appointments

Andrew Puzder
Andrew Puzder
Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Andrew Puzder

Other political figures who backed out of appointments

Alberto Carvalho's not the first, but he's unusual in that his decision wasn't driven by controversy.
March 1, 2018

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of public schools in Miami who was chosen by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as the next city schools chancellor, shocked both cities by declining the position while live on television on Thursday.

It’s rare for an appointee to withdraw after accepting a political post – especially while televised – but the drama surrounding Carvalho’s decision seems befitting an era when a reality star is in the White House.

Of course, Carvalho isn’t the first politician to withdraw from a position – although in his case, it wasn’t driven by scandal or controversy but because he was beloved by local school board members and students who wanted him to stay.

Here are some other national figures who have made waves by declining a position after being nominated.

Andrew Puzder

Puzder was President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. But the former CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, withdrew from consideration amid revelations that he had hired an undocumented an employee. He also faced accusations of sexism, because of advertisements for his restaurants featuring models eating burgers, and allegations of domestic abuse which were later recanted. He withdrew from consideration in February of 2017.

Tom Daschle.jpg

Tom Daschle
Tom Daschle
Michael Bonfigli/Center for American Progress, via Flickr

Tom Daschle

Daschle, a former U.S. senator from South Dakota, withdrew from consideration as President Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services secretary in February of 2009, after it was revealed that he had not paid $140,000 in unpaid taxes.

Harriet Miers

Miers was nominated by President George W. Bush to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, but withdrew from consideration after three weeks. This was ostensibly because Miers had given Bush confidential advice as White House counsel, but her nomination had received scrutiny because she had no prior judgeship experience and was considered insufficiently conservative by some Republicans.

Bill Belichick.jpg

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick
David Shankbone/Flickr

Bill Belichick

Although not strictly a political individual, Belichick was definitely a New York figure. He served as head coach of the Jets for less than one day before stepping down, turning a news conference initially intended to announce his new position into a resignation, not unlike Carvalho’s television spectacle. He moved to become the head coach of the Patriots shortly thereafter. Fortunately for New York sports fans – although not Jets lovers – the Giants are one of only two teams that have been able to beat Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady at the Super Bowl.

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.
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