Before the Oath: How George W. Bush and Barack Obama Managed by Martha Joynt Kumar

By Martha Joynt Kumar

It’s one of many hallmarks of yankee democracy: on inauguration day, the departing president heeds the desire of the folks and fingers the keys to energy to a successor. The transition from one management to the following sounds uncomplicated, even ceremonial. yet in 2009, as President George W. Bush briefed President-elect Barack Obama in regards to the ongoing wars and plummeting economic climate he’d quickly inherit, the Bush crew printed that they have been grappling with a late-breaking chance to the presidency: U.S. intelligence assets believed terror team with hyperlinks to Al Qaeda deliberate to assault the nationwide Mall in the course of the inaugural festivities. even supposing 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 most modern e-book. In Before the Oath, Kumar files how presidential teams―one outgoing, the opposite incoming―must forge trusting alliances to be able to support the recent president achieve his or her first time period.

Kumar loved remarkable entry to a number of incumbent and candidate transition crew individuals, 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 by which to ascertain the presidential transition method, Kumar interweaves examples from earlier administrations way back to Truman-Eisenhower. Her matters describe in bright element 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 discovered and pitfalls encountered in the course of earlier presidential transitions offers an important highway map for presidential aspirants and their advisers, in addition to crusade staff, federal staff, and political appointees.

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

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Chief executives come into the White House with no institutional memory awaiting them as an informational support system; only the Counsel’s Office and the National Security Council retain files from the previous administration that the new presidential team can use. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 requires that presidential records leave a White House with the outgoing president. How much information is available to the incoming team about the operations of the White House and the fifteen cabinet departments depends on the A Time of Opportunity and Hazard 23 preparations provided for by the incumbent White House and the cooperation of the department secretaries and their deputies.

While the Clinton attorney general process took over three months from the naming of the first nominee to Reno’s confirmation by the Senate, the Bush labor secretary flap traveled the same distance in three weeks. Max Stier discussed the protection an administration has if it starts planning early. “There’s also a protection against a down side, which is there are lots of risks out there. 36 In his view, there is an opportunity a president squanders if he does not begin planning early. ” 6. Effective Working Relationships When presidents establish early relationships with congressional leaders, what difference does it make for them?

What happens in his transition out of office is significant for how people view the president. While President George W. Bush left office with a low public approval rating, his transition out of office continues to receive considerable praise as the most successful one a president has had. It is one element in the rise of President Bush’s ratings in the years following his presidency. Transition Challenges In order to take advantage of the opportunities a transition offers as well as to avoid its hazards, the presumptive party candidates need to prepare for the presidency before they come into office—ideally, well before the party conventions.

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