By Martha Joynt Kumar

It’s one of many hallmarks of yankee democracy: on inauguration day, the departing president heeds the need of the folks and fingers the keys to strength to a successor. The transition from one management to the subsequent sounds easy, even ceremonial. yet in 2009, as President George W. Bush briefed President-elect Barack Obama concerning the ongoing wars and plummeting financial system he’d quickly inherit, the Bush workforce published that they have been grappling with a late-breaking chance to the presidency: U.S. intelligence assets believed terror staff with hyperlinks to Al Qaeda deliberate to assault the nationwide Mall in the course of the inaugural festivities. even if this violence by no means materialized, its danger made it transparent that well-laid contingency plans have been essential.

Political scientist Martha Joynt Kumar exposed this mystery peril whereas interviewing senior Bush and Obama advisers for her newest ebook. In Before the Oath, Kumar files how presidential teams―one outgoing, the opposite incoming―must forge trusting alliances that allows you to support the hot president achieve his or her first time period.

Kumar loved extraordinary entry to numerous incumbent and candidate transition workforce participants, and he or she combines in-depth scholarship with one-on-one interviews to place readers squarely backstage. utilizing the Bush-Obama handoff as a lens in which to ascertain the presidential transition approach, Kumar interweaves examples from earlier administrations way back to Truman-Eisenhower. Her topics describe in vibrant aspect the demanding situations of sowing crusade beliefs throughout a sprawling govt department as Congress, the media, and exterior occasions press in. Kumar’s vigorous account of classes realized and pitfalls encountered in the course of previous presidential transitions offers a vital highway map for presidential aspirants and their advisers, in addition to crusade staff, federal staff, and political appointees.

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Extra resources for Before the Oath: How George W. Bush and Barack Obama Managed a Transfer of Power

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Roger Jones, who worked at the Bureau of the Budget during Truman’s term, described the president’s efforts: “In the last year or so of Mr. ”17 Truman also relied on the Bureau because he had done so in 1948 when he was running for election, though that effort was a very low-key one.  . ”18 The same kinds of preparations were taken in 2008, with Clay Johnson, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, organizing administrative agencies in the information-gathering process. They too followed the party platforms and the statements by candidates on their policy intentions.

All of these actions were taken less than twenty-­ four hours after the polls around the country had closed and an apparent winner was declared by election specialists and news organizations. The GSA administrator’s role in declaring a winner is provided for in Section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. Behind our presidential transitions is a welter of legislation, presidential action, administrative decisions taken by government agencies, and a strong record of congressional legislation.

One of the ways the Obama transition operation built links with career staff was to bring onto their transition teams former members of the agencies who had both knowledge of agency operations and who had preexisting relationships with career staff. 7. Taking Advantage of Goodwill For a short while, the president has the goodwill and attention of the public and the Washington community. Even in politics, people do not want to attack the newcomer until there is substantial reason to do so. In the early days, if he has strong poll numbers, there is little advantage for a president’s opponents to go on the attack against the administration’s people and positions.

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