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When Barack Obama assumed the presidency on January 20, he had in place a White House decision-making system of his choice, a policy agenda in order and a plan of his priorities, and a personnel process well under way. Several factors contributed to the orderly transition into the presidency. First, Congress, the president, and the executive branch over the years had made decisions that affected the transition, especially in the national security area. Second, members of the incoming administration worked with records of White House office structures, administration operations, and personnel processes and with former government officials experienced in past transitions. Third, unprecedented early transition planning and actions by the George W. Bush administration led to a new level of cooperation between the outgoing and incoming administrations. Finally, the early attention of Senator and then President-Elect Barack Obama to the need for transition planning and his assignment of experienced and knowledgeable people to handle studies of White House staff structure, agency operations, policy development, and staff selection eased the move from campaigning to governing.