Seeking success in presidential transitions : the policy and personnel choices of Bill Clinton, 1992-1993
Presidential transitions mark the starting point of any regime change in the US federal executive. During this period newly elected Presidents structure their Whitehouse, fill thousands of political appointments and select their policy priorities. Using Carl Brauer's observations on the successful conduct of presidential transitions this thesis examines the personnel and policy choices of Bill Clinton during his 1992-1993 presidential transition. Presidential transition success is, according to Brauer, reliant upon the awareness of four essential factors; early planning, White House structure, setting a legislative agenda and assessing personal strengths and weaknesses. These factors form a framework for the analysis of four domestic policy issue areas. The policies considered are national service, economic and budgetary policy, health care reform and the use of Executive Orders as a policy-making tool. These issues reflect the broad policy intentions of the Clinton administration during its first year in office. In linking the processes of personnel and policy selection across these issue areas this thesis considers the extent to which the Clinton administration was able to achieve its stated aims and objectives in 1992 and 1993. Assessments are made concerning the levels of success in each of the four factors and conclusions are drawn about the influence of the transition on the conduct of the Clinton presidency. In examining Bill Clinton's use of Executive Orders in the cases of homosexuals in the military and the reauthorisation of abortion practices a new perspective on the conduct of the modern presidency is unveiled.