Managing the Chaos: A Timeline of U.S. Presidential Transitions

The U.S. presidential transition has often been a chaotic and adversarial process—but there’s reason to believe better days are ahead.

By Melanie Padgett Powers Sep 1, 2016


Unlike with previous transitions, the Bush administration provides Barack Obama’s team with detailed reports on policy issues and agency work plans in advance of the takeover. The two sides even collaborate on a tabletop terrorism exercise in the Situation Room a week before Obama’s inauguration, according to an April 2016 New York Times article. 


This year, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s teams both began prepping for a transition earlier than any candidates in previous presidential elections. Each is creating a detailed transition strategy, right down to a mock White House floor map. One of them will not have to use it. 


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