AUTHOR'S NOTE: I would like to thank Fred I. Greenstein, Martha Joynt Kumar, and James Pfiffner for their helpful comments and criticisms.
The Contemporary Presidency: The Obama Presidential Transition: An Early Assessment
Version of Record online: 17 JUL 2009
© 2009 Center for the Study of the Presidency
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 574–604, September 2009
How to Cite
BURKE, J. P. (2009), The Contemporary Presidency: The Obama Presidential Transition: An Early Assessment. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39: 574–604. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2009.03691.x
- Issue online: 17 JUL 2009
- Version of Record online: 17 JUL 2009
Transitions to the presidency bear wide-ranging consequences for the successes—and failures—of the administrations that follow. Barack Obama's effort in 2008 and early 2009 is no exception. In many ways, it was a successful transition to office. Despite severe economic constraints, the transition paved the way for an ambitious post-inaugural agenda and the first steps toward fleshing out Obama's campaign themes of “hope” and “change.” But all was not perfect. It was a transition that also offers cautionary lessons about how early mistakes, errors, and omissions potentially can hinder that success.