And now, a transition unlike any other.
President Obama on Wednesday pledged that his administration would provide a “successful” transfer of power to a man who tormented his presidency for years, Donald Trump. “The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world,” Obama said in remarks in the Rose Garden in which he tried as best he could to find glimmers of optimism on an electoral result he clearly feared.
Trump and Obama will meet at the White House on Thursday, and Trump’s transition committee is expected to parachute teams of potential appointees into federal agencies as soon as next week to begin receiving briefings. Trump’s top advisers reportedly met both in New York and Washington on Wednesday to begin making plans. The Trump campaign also set up a transition website, greatagain.gov, that includes links for applying to serve in the new administration.
By most accounts, Trump’s transition team has been a smoother and more professional operation than his official campaign apparatus. Modeled to a certain extent on the shadow government that Mitt Romney’s transition team built—to no ultimate avail—in 2012, the Trump team has had dozens of staffers working in government-provided space since August developing policy papers, personnel lists, and other plans. Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the titular head of the effort, but his former chief of staff, Rich Bagger, has been running the day-to-day operation as executive director.