_ The Kitchen Cabinet was a term used by political opponents of President of the United States Andrew Jackson to describe the collection of unofficial advisers he consulted in parallel to the United States Cabinet (the "parlor cabinet") following his purge of the cabinet at the end of the Eaton affair and his break with Vice President John C. Calhoun in 1831.
In an unprecedented dismissal of five of the eight Cabinet officials in the middle of his first term, Jackson dismissed Calhoun's allies Samuel D. Ingham, John Branch, and John M. Berrien as well as his own supporters, Secretary of State Martin Van Buren and Secretary of War John Eaton. However, Jackson retained Van Buren in Washington as the minister to Great Britain.
Jackson's Kitchen Cabinet included his longtime political allies Martin Van Buren, Francis Preston Blair, Amos Kendall, William B. Lewis, Andrew Jackson Donelson, John Overton, and his new Attorney General Roger B. Taney. As newspapermen, Blair and Kendall were given particular notice by rival papers.
Blair was Kendall's successor as editor of the Jacksonian Argus of Western America, the prominent pro-New Court newspaper of Kentucky. Jackson brought Blair to Washington, D.C. to counter Calhounite Duff Green, editor of The United States Telegraph, with a new paper, the Globe. Lewis had been quartermaster under Jackson during the War of 1812; Andrew Donelson was Jackson's adoptive son and private secretary; and Overton was Andrew Jackson's friend and business partner since the 1790s.
_In colloquial use, "kitchen cabinet" refers to any group of trusted friends and associates, particularly in reference to a President's or presidential candidate's closest unofficial advisers. Clark Clifford was considered a member of the kitchen cabinet for John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson before he was appointed Secretary of Defense. Robert Kennedy was uniquely considered to be a kitchen cabinet member as well as a Cabinet member while he was his brother's Attorney General.
Ronald Reagan had a kitchen cabinet of allies and friends from California who advised him during his terms. This group of ten to twelve rich businessmen were all strong proponents of the free enterprise system. His wealthy, conservative California backers included: Alfred Bloomingdale, Earl Brian, Justin Whitlock Dart, William French Smith, Charles Wick, William A. Wilson, auto dealer Holmes Tuttle, beer baron Joseph Coors, steel magnate and philanthropist Earle Jorgensen, and about four to six others. Coors was the major funder and most active participant. He also funded many think tanks and policy institutes at about this time, including the Heritage Foundation.