Political History

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 yank democracy: on inauguration day, the departing president heeds the desire of the folks and arms the keys to strength to a successor. The transition from one management to the following sounds basic, even ceremonial. yet in 2009, as President George W. Bush briefed President-elect Barack Obama in regards to the ongoing wars and plummeting financial system he’d quickly inherit, the Bush workforce printed that they have been grappling with a late-breaking possibility to the presidency: U.S. intelligence resources believed terror staff with hyperlinks to Al Qaeda deliberate to assault the nationwide Mall through the inaugural festivities. even though 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 publication. In Before the Oath, Kumar files how presidential teams―one outgoing, the opposite incoming―must forge trusting alliances so as to support the hot president achieve his or her first time period.

Kumar loved unparalleled entry to a number of incumbent and candidate transition staff 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 during which to check the presidential transition procedure, Kumar interweaves examples from prior administrations way back to Truman-Eisenhower. Her matters describe in bright aspect the demanding situations of sowing crusade beliefs throughout a sprawling govt department as Congress, the media, and exterior occasions press in. Kumar’s energetic account of classes realized and pitfalls encountered in the course of earlier 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 info for Before the Oath: How George W. Bush and Barack Obama Managed a Transfer of Power

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With a gift for political theater, Mr. Reagan has established his goals faster, communicated a greater sense of economic urgency and come forward with more comprehensive proposals than any new President since the first 100 days of Franklin D. A Time of Opportunity and Hazard 31 Roosevelt, the hero of his youth and the man whose record of achieving social change Mr. 50 “In Roo­ seveltian fashion, Mr. Reagan has commanded the attention of the public, the Congress and America’s allies and adversaries.

His message was clear: He wanted their support, and he was willing to come to them to get it. Once he got into office, he got off to a quick start with a slew of executive orders and administrative memoranda. That led to favorable publicity about his leadership style, which portrayed a man who knew what he was doing. Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas wrote about his focus on the economy one month into his presidency: “President Reagan is living up to his campaign promise to make the economy his No.

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. 45 Even if their overall coverage was under 50% in its favorability, the coverage of individual policy areas came out well in the George W.

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