Video Interview: Wagner s Paul C. Light Comments on the 2008 Presidential Transition

Paul C. Light, Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, talks about the 2008 Presidential transition.

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On the Transition:

“This transition is going to be very, very difficult, arguably more difficult than Franklin Roosevelt’s transition into Office during the Great Depression. The next President is going to have an extraordinary agenda of inherited issues…I’m recommending to the next President that he pick one or two issues only for the coming year, perhaps an economic stimulus plan…really focus for a short period of time on the economy and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”

“All totaled it speaks to a very, very difficult transitions, and one in which the President elect really has to be careful about what he says, who he appoints, and inspiring the nation around an agenda that’s relatively narrow but significant to the nation’s economic health and to pursuing and ending the war in Iraq and ending the war in Afghanistan.”

On the appointments:

“The most important thing the next President elect is going to do early in the transition is name his Treasury Secretary and the person who is going to head up the financial bailout. People are going to be looking at who’s going to be serving on the economic team and I think those are going to be the very first appointments.

Bureaucracy Busting-the surprise issue:

“The surprise issue that might be on the first term agenda is bureaucratic reform of the federal government. Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama have talked at length about the need to improve the way the federal government works. They want to improve the way the government works as a way of reducing the budget deficit.

“I expect to see bureaucracy busting on the new President’s agenda and it will operate at somewhat lesser level, but it’s a very important issue for the next President to tackle.”

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