Obama Transition Director?


Today’s Washington Post says the Obama Campaign is trying to recruit John Podesta as its transition director. Podesta was President Bill Clinton’s last White House chief of staff and he is currently the head of a think tank, the Center for American Progress. He reflects one of the key success traits transition observers have said are important — an understanding of how the White House works. Podesta managed Clinton’s outgoing transition, as well.


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3 Responses to “Obama Transition Director?”

  1. Scot Faulkner Says:

    Obama is actually behind schedule. Ronald Reagan tasked Ed Meese with transition planning on November 13, 1979. Meese completed a draft transition plan with Penn James in March 1980. Transition Planning was well underway by the end of the GOP Convention on July 17, 1980.

    A successful transition requires substantial planning. It is unfortunate that this leaked out as it should remain behind the scenes.

  2. John Kamensky Says:

    Hi Scot – In the past, news about pre-convention transition planning teams were seen as presumptuous. Your observation that Senator Obama (and possibly by inference, Senator McCain) are behind in planning efforts may be correct, but it also may be that more public knowledge about such efforts may be seen as prudent, not presumptuous in today’s climate when the transition will occur at a point in time where our country’s at war and the next president will face a need to act quickly on a budget, a policy agenda, and a staffing challenge all at once.

  3. Phil Candreva Says:

    Agreed. Anyone who has studied presidential transitions knows it is prudent to have already started. Clay Johnson published an article in 2002 describing Bush’s transition saying they started in April of 2000.

    McCain’s criticism bothers me for two reasons. He is either pandering to the uninformed or he actually believes it is too early to start. If he has started, he is hypocritical. If he has not started, he may be suffering from a different transition problem: hubris.

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