This unique and daunting process always involves at least some mistakes—in hiring, perhaps, or in policy priorities, or organizational design. Early blunders can carry serious consequences well into a president's term; minimizing them from the outset is critical. In What Do We Do Now? Stephen Hess draws from his long experience as a White House staffer and presidential adviser to show what can be done to make presidential transitions go smoothly. Here is a workbook to guide future chief executives, decision by decision, through the minefield of transition.
Whatever the results of the presidential vote on Nov. 3, the time between Election Day and Inauguration Day seems set to be a dark and terrifying 11 weeks in the history of the United States. However, perhaps there’s some comfort to be taken in the fact that we’ve experienced fraught transitions before—and longer ones. To wit: When Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860 and prepared to take the reins from James Buchanan, who had kept not run for a second term, we suffered through a four-month slog of turmoil, because until the th Amendment in 1933, inaugurations used to take place in March. And during Buchanan’s endless lame-duck period, quite a bit went down: Seven states declared for secession, and Southerners seized forts and garrisons, arming themselves for the war we know now was coming. Quote from