Passages to the Presidency: From Campaigning to Governing by Charles O. Jones

By Charles O. Jones

Examines the careers of 4 presidents and explores the ways that the political approach is altering their function.

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Passages to the Presidency: From Campaigning to Governing

Examines the careers of 4 presidents and explores the ways that the political process is altering their function.

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Nixon in 1968, Gerald R. Ford to Jimmy Carter in 1976, Carter to Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George Bush to Bill Clinton in 1992. Jones conducted extensive interviews with presidential aides, public officials, scholars, journalists, and other political observers. Jones finds that campaigning and governing are experiencing important changes that will affect future transitions. His sources uniformly criticized the Clinton transition as the least effective, yet they were applying standards drawn from the conventional wisdom while important changes were occurring in campaigning and governing.

As Richard E. " "Harry Truman," he said, "was instinctively a judge. "8 Thus it is possible to answer certain of the questions raised by Johnson even if they are not asked directly of the candidates. An attempt is made here to relate presidents' earlier experiences to the transition from candidate to president-elect to president. The crucial point for now simply is that inquiry regarding transitions should not be shelved until a candidate wins. Those interested in effective governance, presumably including the candidates themselves, are well advised to confront the issues Page 7 of leadership long in advance of the celebration of victory and the ceremony of inauguration.

However, four, all governors, lacked any Washington experience. Only Kennedy completely lacked executive experience, though service as a lieutenant governor (Harding) barely qualifies and that as vice president (Nixon and Bush) depends greatly on how the president defines the position. As shown in table 1-3, the regenerated presidencies are of two types: those reelected to a second term (or a third and fourth for Franklin D. Roosevelt) and those vice presidents serving out a term who were then elected on their own.

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