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Transitions & Honeymoons . Transitions and Honeymoons. The Transition Period: Election Day to Inauguration Day What difference does the transition make? What makes a transition more successful? How should we think about presidential honeymoons? Does a president always have a honeymoon?.

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Transitions and Honeymoons

  • The Transition Period: Election Day to Inauguration Day

    • What difference does the transition make?

    • What makes a transition more successful?

  • How should we think about presidential honeymoons?

    • Does a president always have a honeymoon?


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Campaigning is not Governing

“Campaigning is about sharpening differences and making promises. And governing is about fulfilling promises and making the system work.”


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Campaigning is not governing

“In a campaign you make promises to everybody, and you don’t really have to make choices among the promises…But when you’re governing, and the budget comes up, you’ve got to make a choice.”


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What helps a Presidential Transition?

  • Know that appointments make a statement

  • Act fast

  • Select White House Staff early

  • Quickly settle futures of close advisers

  • Fill Inner Cabinet posts early



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What helps a Presidential Transition?

  • Know that appointments make a statement

  • Act fast

  • Select White House Staff early

  • Quickly settle futures of close advisers

  • Fill Inner Cabinet posts early

  • Know how the White House works

  • Feed the press

  • Have respect for Congress


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Honeymoons?

  • With the press?

  • With the public?

  • With Congress?



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Effects on Success in Congress in First 100 Days of any given year, 1961-2001

  • Average baseline success rate: 37%

  • Inaugural year adds 13%

  • Unified government adds 26%

  • Pre-1974 Presidency adds 14%

  • Public approval adds 1% to success rate for every increase of 5% in approval ratings


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