Jared Kushner Wouldn't Be the First Powerful Son-in-Law in Presidential History

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tags: election 2016, Trump, Jared Kushner



With the news this week that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has named his son-in-law Jared Kushner a senior adviser, the fellow real-estate developer is now in position to become what some have called the most powerful son-in-law of a president in U.S. history. 

But, while Kushner’s power will certainly be unusual, he will not be the first presidential son-in-law to wield great influence. Case in point: William Gibbs McAdoo was a high-profile businessman before he went to work in Woodrow Wilson’s administration, where he served as Secretary of the Treasury. He also married the President’s daughter.

The differences between Kushner and McAdoo are many. For one thing, McAdoo’s time as a White House son-in-law predates the federal anti-nepotism statute known as the “Bobby Kennedy law,” which prohibits federal officials from appointing relatives to certain jobs. (Kushner will get around the law by not taking a salary.) For another, McAdoo became Wilson’s son-in-law after he was already a cabinet secretary. Nevertheless, his story shines a light on some of the perks and pitfalls of family matters in the executive office.




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