Essay: Some Misconceptions About Transitions

The hum you hear coming from the Beltway is the chanting of transition mantras -- the phrases that rise to the lips of Washingtonians every time someone new moves into the Oval Office. Like other ritual phrases, transition mantras are hallowed by time; they may even contain traces of truth. But as a steady background blur, they are as dulling to the mind as New Age music.

Take that favorite with compilers of resumes, "Personnel is policy." This slogan reflects the fact that things don't happen just because the President- elect has said they will. All his ideas and campaign pledges...

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