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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!