The complexity of running the U.S. government requires presidential candidates to begin planning for their presidency ahead of actually winning the election. So, it was no surprise when Hillary Clinton announced her transition team last week.
Mrs. Clinton tapped Ken Salazar to chair her transition team. Salazar, a former Secretary of Interior under President Obama, was also a U.S. senator and has a good understanding of the workings of the government.
Congress allocated funds for transition planning
There is the non-profit and non-political Center for Presidential Transition that has published a guideline to help the campaigns with the transition. Congress allocated funds in the 2017 budget to help the president-elect with the transition process following their election. The transition will be a 73-day marathon to hand over power from the current administration to the incoming team that will begin hours after the votes are counted. The transition from the Obama administration to a Clinton administration would probably be emotionally easier than would a transition to a Trump administration. But, no matter who is elected the work of the government will need to continue seamlessly.
President George W. Bush praised for his transition planning
President George W. Bush got high marks from the Obama transition team when they took office. President Bush had appointed a key aide, Joshua Bolten to oversee the transition on the Bush side more than a year in advance of President Obama taking office.
"To the credit of the Bush White House, they could not have been better partners with us. The success of the transition planning was in large measure because of the cooperation we got from the Bush White House. "— Chris Lu – head of Obama transition team
Mr. Salazar’s transition team will include four co-chairs: Tom Donilon and Neera Tanden, both former members of the Obama administration; former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Maggie Williams, director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Also joining the team will be Heather Bourshey and Ann O’Leary. In line with Clinton’s committed to form a cabinet that is comprised of at least half women, the transition team is also memorable in that the majority the transition team are women.
Both transition teams are working out of the same office building
Donald Trump has named New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to head his transition team should he win the election.
For the first time in history, both presidential transition teams are working out of the same building at 1717 Pennsylvania Ave., a block away from the White House. The office space and support services are being provided by the General Services Administration and is funded by an allocation from Congress for pre-election transition support.