Organizing the presidency, from Roosevelt to Biden

The Oval Office in the White House while John F. Kennedy was President 1963 © 2012 Mark Shaw

Editor’s Note: Photo Credit: Mark Shaw – MPTV

On this episode airing in the midst of the transition of President Elect Joe Biden, Brookings Press Director Bill Finan interviews experts Stephen Hess and James Pfiffner, the authors of the Brookings Press title, “Organizing the Presidency.” In this fourth edition of the landmark volume, first published in 1976, Hess and Pfiffner argue that the successes and failures of presidents from Franklin Roosevelt through Donald Trump have resulted in large part from how the president deployed and used White House staffers and other top officials responsible for carrying out Oval Office policy. Hess and Pfiffner reflect on earlier transitions, but also have a lot to say about President Trump’s transition in 2016, and what is happening now.

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