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Before the Oath It’s one of the hallmarks of American democracy on inauguration day the departing president heeds the will of the people and hands the keys to power to a successor The transition from one administration to the next sounds simple even ceremonial But in 2009 as President George W Bush briefed President elect Barack Obama about the ongoing wars and plummeting economy he’d soon inherit the Bush team revealed that they were grappling with a late breaking threat to the presidency US intelligence sources believed that a terror group with links to Al aeda planned to attack the National Mall during the inaugural festivities Although this violence never materialized its possibility made it clear that well laid contingency plans were essentialPolitical scientist Martha Joynt Kumar uncovered this secret peril while interviewing senior Bush and Obama advisers for her latest book In Before the Oath Kumar documents how two presidential teams—one outgoing the other incoming—must forge trusting alliances in order to help the new president succeed in his or her first termKumar enjoyed unprecedented access to several incumbent and candidate transition team members and she combines in depth scholarship with one on one interviews to put readers suarely behind the scenes Using the Bush Obama handoff as a lens through which to examine the presidential transition process Kumar interweaves examples from previous administrations as far back as Truman Eisenhower Her subjects describe in vivid detail the challenges of sowing campaign ideals across a sprawling executive branch as Congress the media and external events press in Kumar’s lively account of lessons learned and pitfalls encountered during past presidential transitions provides an essential road map for presidential aspirants and their advisers as well as campaign workers federal employees and political appointees Via

3 thoughts on “Before the Oath

  1. says:

    Review Martha Joynt Kumar is national expert on presidential transitions has spent may years in the White House Press room and has given us a very detailed account of the 2008 9 transition between President Bush and President Obama This transition was especially complex and dangerous with the nation undergoing the most significant economic crisis since the Great Depression while also prosecuting a war in two countries She details the substantial efforts of the Bush administration the responsiveness of the Obama organization and the work of the many other players involved She describes the evolution of this vital process since the Truman administration the changes reuired because of the events of Sept 11th 2001 and the increasing scope and complexity of the federal government You'll also learn a little about many administrations dating back to the Truman Administration the federal government and elections in general and I think have a newly found or deeper respect for the women and men who collaborate together to make the government work This book is very thoroughly researched and brings in the words and viewpoints of many senior staff from the Obama McCain Bush W and others who were directly involved in these transitions of powerAbout M Kumar From Johns Hopkins University Press websiteMartha Joynt Kumar is a professor of political science at Towson University She is the author of Managing the President’s Message The White House Communications Operation winner of the American Political Science Association’s 2008 Richard E Neustadt Best Book Award and the coauthor of Portraying the President The White House and the News MediaAvailabilityThis book was published in 2015 and is generally available for purchase on line from numerous vendors as new used or electronic It has some limited availability in public and university libraries in Maryland where I live you may have to use Inter library Loan

  2. says:

    I was excited to read this book because the subject is important to me The book is essentially a big research paper on the 2008 transition The author is detailed in her reporting and there are flashes of excitement and fascinating narrative But little is revealed that would not be than common sense plan ahead to transition the most important job in the world Many times the author repeats herself and the writing style lacks any excitement This is an overview of the transition with no drama The books is well researched

  3. says:

    Too academic for me Not enough of a narative for the transition Still some interesting things but i didn't finish

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