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 subsequent sounds uncomplicated, 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 group published that they have been grappling with a late-breaking chance to the presidency: U.S. intelligence resources believed terror team with hyperlinks to Al Qaeda deliberate to assault the nationwide Mall throughout the inaugural festivities. even though this violence by no means materialized, its hazard 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 booklet. In Before the Oath, Kumar records how presidential teams―one outgoing, the opposite incoming―must forge trusting alliances which will aid the recent president achieve his or her first time period.
Kumar loved unparalleled entry to a number of incumbent and candidate transition group individuals, and he or she combines in-depth scholarship with one-on-one interviews to place readers squarely behind the curtain. utilizing the Bush-Obama handoff as a lens by which to ascertain the presidential transition strategy, Kumar interweaves examples from prior administrations way back to Truman-Eisenhower. Her topics describe in shiny aspect the demanding situations of sowing crusade beliefs throughout a sprawling government department as Congress, the media, and exterior occasions press in. Kumar’s energetic account of classes realized and pitfalls encountered in the course of prior presidential transitions presents an important street map for presidential aspirants and their advisers, in addition to crusade staff, federal staff, and political appointees.
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Additional resources for Before the Oath: How George W. Bush and Barack Obama Managed a Transfer of Power
As a member of two agency review teams for the Obama transition, Chenok saw the importance of the president-elect’s transition operation to acquiring the trust of career staff: “It is really important for there to be a good trust relationship as quickly as possible between the incoming team and the career staff. ”41 In addition to the relationships, in those early days it is also necessary to build the “working parameters” of the relationship, said Chenok. 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.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs found in its charting of news coverage by ABC, CBS, and NBC that in the first fifty days of the George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush adminis- A Time of Opportunity and Hazard 29 trations, presidents got positive coverage for particular aspects of their administrations. The center’s evaluation of press coverage of President George H. W. Bush was 61% positive, while those numbers in the three major networks fell in the Clinton first fifty days to 44%, and rose in a similar period of George W.
There is widespread agreement that Republican gains have been the result,” John Harris and Dana Milbank reported in their Post article. “The questions around Clinton have helped reinforce Bush’s pledge to ‘restore dignity’ to the White House. A poll last week by Zogby International showed that 64 percent of respondents said they had an ‘overall favorable’ impression of Bush, up 10 points from a month before. ”58 President Clinton worked his way back up to his earlier highs, but his exit cost him in popularity.