A week after the presidential election, with the outcome still unresolved, a looming question clouds the future: how does the next president conduct a transition that cannot yet officially begin?
While George W. Bush has publicly begun to assemble his transition team and Al Gore’s spokesman says he’s ready for the changeover, the fight to win the presidency appears to be far from over. Florida’s absentee ballots from overseas won’t be counted until Friday, the hand recount of ballots in selected Florida counties is slow and tedious, and the threat of additional legal action in Florida and other states has not been ruled out.
How will the new president—whoever he is—make up for this lost time? How will the election deadlock affect the top-level presidential appointees, whose confirmations were expected to drag on for months even without the election controversy? In organizing his administration, will the next president be hampered by doubts about the legitimacy of his victory?