Presidential Transitions Reveal Ability to Govern: Heath Brown

A new essay in The Atlantic by Professor Heath Brown (GC/John Jay, Criminal Justice) examines the lack of transparency in the presidential transition planning process.
Titled “What Are Trump and Clinton Planning for the White House?,” the article notes that presidential candidates have always kept their plans for transitioning into office as secret as possible. While the formal transition period occurs between the November election and the January inauguration, the leading candidates are already making many critical decisions with the help of advisors, according to Brown.
“The lack of transparency about transition planning raises several serious concerns,” Brown writes. “The most prominent is the influence lobbyists could have over each candidate. Will lobbyists be permitted to recommend who should be considered for key positions, which federal programs should be cut, and how their industry should be regulated?”
The leading presidential candidates could add clarity to this process by announcing their entire pre-election transition team, a step that no major candidate has ever taken, Brown writes. Other steps could include identifying the funders of their transition teams and posting, on a public website, the daily meetings held by these teams.
Last fall, Brown published The Tea Party Divided: The Hidden Diversity of a Maturing Movement (Praeger), which examines the party’s evolution.

Submitted on: AUG 11, 2016

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