tv Presidential Transition Conference Part 2 CSPAN August 15, 2016 3:17am-4:42am EDT
let us all think our panelists. [applause] a panel looking at how a new administration picks cabinet secretaries and personnel to staff positions. this is about an hour and 25 minutes. >> when we started this in 1998 which we were often reminded was actually a long time ago, it seemed like just yesterday but it is now quite a long time ago. one of the things that people talked about was measuring the drapes was the equivalent of changing your socks in the middle of a winning streak in baseball. we just had to deal with the fact that politicians were like professional baseball players.
they would grow a beard if they thought it would help them win an election and they would not change their socks if they thought it would help them win the election and the transition went against that. it is now commonplace for people to think that it is the responsible thing to do to measure the drapes and figure out what they would do if they managed to prevail. and now the job of the transition project is to convince people that measuring the drapes and preparing to leave is the new equivalent of not changing your socks. transition into today's topic for the panel. what it panel was about was like to transition the white house and this group of people have all walked into the white house on day one but another interesting aspect of the three people is that they have all
walked out of the white house before the president walked out and to the executive branch where the mission of the administration also goes on. this panel will be a bit about walking into the building and what that expenses like because they have had that experience and how do you take on the responsibilities of running what the president is only and the top part of the full executive branch which is one of the large organizations of the world, or the world's most powerful organizations in one of the most complex organizations, especially if you're interested in actually making a fit your ambitions.
i will give you a brief synopsis if you missed the first panel. leadership is a team sport. it starts at the top. leadership is a team sport and practice matters. regardless of whether or not you face the same game you think you're going to play, practicing together helps everyone. those are topics that these three people have had, what they are just learned last night is that not only did lisa brown walked into the white house with president obama, she also walked out of the white house with ice president gore and clinton. -- vice president gore and clinton. she has been on both ends of the spectrum. clay johnson started planning to walk into the white house even before governor bush announced he was going to run for the white house. that is part of the reflection of then governor bush and george
w. bush's commitment, larceny personal commitment to making sure things are done properly. he not only walked into the building with george w. bush, he walked out of the building with george w. bush and walked out of the building with a different part of the presidency. he was deputy director of management. the management and management. the same job that lisa brown was assigned to buy president obama and put a twist on it to make her key performance officer. i will let her talk about what that means. chris lu, like johnson was the executive director of the obama transition planning group which means he was the guy who started way back before obama was a presumptive candidate. he was the guy who major to know
what they were doing if they one and he is now midway through the administration, has walked out of the building on his own into the executive branch and if you anything about the agency, -- he is the person whose job it is to make sure ambitions of the secretary and ambitions of the president are the actual output of the agency. what i plan to do is ask a series of questions of each individual and author will have a check to, tell them because they all have a similar experiences. you have all walked into the building. you have all been part of the process before where your person was just a candidate and now the
president-elect and he walked into the building and did the job and what i would like you to do is think back to the end of the second week, not the first week, the second week and ask yourself if you could only draw on that two-week experience, what thing would you tell your successor that would help them walk into the building with more confidence and strength. >> first i want to say thank you. thank you for the bush library for hosting and the moody foundation for making all of this possible. i think both mac and just talked about this. you want to come in with a very clear plan and roadmap for what you want to do clearly for the
first two weeks and there are executive orders unannounced and that time period, you set a tone very quickly. what you want to do is know when you walk into the door, we had a very clear set of we knew it was happening on day 1, 2, 3, specially for the first two weeks. i was to have a clear plan but also be willing to be flexible. we are always trying to balance is being proactive and josh mentioned this, we hope the next president will have a honeymoon period. and it is a remarkable time we can get things done. you want to take advantage of that. you also don't know what is going to happen.
you also need to be able to be agile when something does happen so that you can respond to appear -- to it. >> i agree totally. i want to expand the common which is you need to take charge of the kind of president you want to be and want to be confident and comfortable and assured that you will be able to be. one of the first -- one of the things you want to do in the first two weeks? educational things, statutory things, whatever you want to do. one of the things that could be risks if they showed their own we face or opportunities where our countries threat, unlike ever, their economic risks. our country is in threat now, unlike the way it has been ever. and there are economic risks and health risks and so forth. so the president needs to be thinking, how prepared do i want to be to deal with a threat to our country, or a health risk, and so how well staffed do i want to be in the key areas in those departments, how well briefed do i want to be, how knowledgeable of the potential circumstances i might get faced with?
make sure that happens. the key is, the thing that is not secondary or should not be a variable but should be fixed is, what the president, with a candidate for president today, what kind of president do they want to do, if they want to be those first two weeks. without a doubt, do they want to be? you think about how much time to i have between now and then that is not fixed. time fixtures in terms of man days, do you have someone working on it? two or three people, a three people man month, but if it is 300 -- am i devoting the resources, and my expanding the time, adding more days to the calendar them really exist by adding more people to really be prepared, have people around me in key positions to deal with stuff i will want to accomplish if nothing else, encourage?
and those other things that might occur help from a national security standpoint. take control of that. that is the picture of success you want to accomplish, that you want to have painted it your two weeks in the presidency and own that and take responsibility. >> this is why the transition period is so important. you want to come in and hit the ground running. you want to start governing the minute the president is sworn in, instead of, "where is the bathroom" equivalent. using that seven days or 34 days as best as you can, so that when you do governance like clay just described. you can immediately start acting and setting the tone for your presidency. terry: and not really 77 days, that is president-elect. he did not start thinking about the transition on election day,
right, chris? started months ahead of time. every one of those days, it is growing opportunity to be prepared. chris: we started planning in may of 2008, maybe actually april, before candidate obama had even grabs the democratic nomination. we understood the importance of planning in a very positive way. planning a transition is one of these really unique experiences where you cannot ask for an extension of time. on the noon of january 20, you have to be ready. that time goes very fast. many decisions you make during transition ultimately affect the success of your presidency. the key to all of this is athe key to all of this is understanding that the matter how great the planning is, you have to be prepared for the unexpected. in the beginning of 2008, the
spring of 2008 we started planning, we had probably a dozen different policy groups looking at everything from education to health care to the environment, economy was one of them. he was just one of the 12 to that we had. by the fall of 2008 as the financial housing market started imploding, the economy expands to take over everything else. so you have to plan it also be nimble as well. host: planning is
partly about the people you want to put in place and what positions they have and who is going to be the best fit for the president's ambitions, but it is also about the ambitions themselves, right? the ability to pin it were an unexpected event which like a crisis, everything else is already in place. it is easy for -- i think it is hard for people to understand is the president could actually say, something is on fire, and is really important, but i have got other things to do. don't mess this up while i am gone, but i have got to do this other thing. so the president's ability to give it during a crisis depends upon the fact that notion, while he is focused on a crisis, the left of the government is not standing still. there is a general policy being pushed forward by others that depends upon him and that matter to him. so this planning stuff that you do is not simply, what are we going to do the first couple of weeks? i have to give a topic beach on this day four, but where is the president's agenda, how far advanced, how well organized? now i have got to focus on this
other thing that i know was expected. that is a part of the transition as well. everyone agree with that? so if we set that out as an objective, first set out the president's agenda, and then how can we use that agenda to help him for the things that are unexpected or her, toward the things that are unexpected? where does the personnel fit into that? the nice thing about the campaign is the ready group of people of the now president-elect is now familiar with, but there are now all these other people like mac and josh talked about you to draw in from the washington community. you are not clear what their objectives are. this is a question for clay. you have this responsibility. how do you decide who the president needs from washington, and how do you decide who the president needs from the campaign? clay: the president is charged
to me when he was governor. i was the appointments person for the governorship, which is the equivalent of president to personnel. you decide who to recommend to me to do the work we want to get done while i am governor or president. so for his administration, what does he want to do? that is the goal every we all want the people that do the best job of our desired work accomplished. and so he did talk about politics, done in a political environment, and is very important you have to understand first of all what you want the deputy secretary to do, or
whatever or the assistant secretary overseer or the head of fish and wildlife for the parks and recreation, what do you want them to do? so the first thing you do as residential personnel, you go to the corporate policy section or national security or whatever, in the white house and say, what does this administration want from parks and wildlife to take care of, or whatever? and the health department or hhs, what do they want? in the three or four years they will be in the particular job, we want them, we think they should accomplish this, this direction, south, north, reduce or add it. then you confirm with them and others what kind of person they
want to do that. a change agent, subject matter expert, management expert? you want someone publicly associated with the issue or somebody for very different reasons have no association because they will be a lightning rod? what kind of person are you looking for? and then you go out and you say, here is the target of the person i would like to recommend so i can explain to the president, this is the person we recommend because you want to get this and this and this done, this person wants you to get this and this and this done because they are behind that. so you do that and go out and find people in the various ways networking. so what happens to politics? we did not try to do with the political matter as well as the accomplished matters in the personnel office. personnel was charged with confidence the matters, the other was political. their charge was, make sure we don't do anything stupid politically. or politically stupid.
[laughter] clay: anymore. so they would recommend people that were politically safe or maybe people that were sure to be loyal to the president, like-minded as the president and so on. maybe they were people that did not come from them, but they would check their political background, people that worked in the community, who would be acceptable. it all started with what kind of person are you looking for that is best qualified to accomplish what this president wants to do? he was very clear charge again from the conversation with the president, find the person best qualified to get the work i, we want to get done while i am president. terry: so you do that without reference to a set of names? clay: without reference to a set of names? terry: you were describing the charge is, described the person
we want, for the department of labor, secretary of labor, what does that entail, what kind of person do we want, all within the context of, we don't already know who that chris lu is? clay: you have to be disciplined to go and decide that. somebody overseer might a as soon as you get to to finding them i can tell you chris lu would be a fantastic secretary of labor. or i think chris lu would be a fantastic -- we would find out, what are the policy, what do the policy people, what do they suggest a labor be focused on in the first three or four years. and if chris lu is qualified to do that, has the skill set to do that, because it means working well with congress or doing this
operationally within the agency or as a manager or fiscal or whatever. so you are not given a name. your first job is to place these people in management positions. maybe it did not happen with us. terry: on the other hand, you are directing, and the obama transition, you are directing 600 people that are looking at agencies that are basically agency experts, policy experts, people like that. are you telling those people that they are the policy people that have an in-depth understanding of what it is like to deal with employment training or something like that, because that is what they are interested in in the department of labor? are you also saying that? also keep in mind there is no
way he will meet all of the cases to be the assistant secretary of training. or do those people go to work only because this is their ambition? lisa: people join because they care about the government and to be honest, they hope they will go into the government. we were very clear you would not necessarily be given a job. we put together a transition team, we were very clear with folks that while we welcomed the participation, they should not necessarily expect a job. you hear about people drawn to, people prove themselves through the job. and then they are thought of when you are looking to see who will be your deputy secretary of justice. terry: did you guys start with
-- did the obama team start with a profile? lisa: can i say at one thing? i don't know if it was mac or josh earlier, but we had our transition team was completely distinct from the campaign. so what we did was, we actually drew a lot for the agency. these were teams, individual agencies that tried to learn as much as they could very quickly so they would know the secretary came in, not only would they know what the president wanted to accomplish but also they would hit the secretary in the face when they walked in the door. whether it was regulatory or legislative issue. we chose people who had previous government experience. if somebody had worked in justice previously, you knew they went in knowing about the department, knowing about the issues. you don't really want somebody who is trying to get up to speed
on this set of issues. when you were talking about the balancing of the campaign and previous experience, often that was the half that would be from previous experience. terry: the people from the campaign, why is it that the transition planning people are sequestered from the campaign? chris: it is not that you are try to keep them separated. the whole goal is to win a campaign. they should not be looking over their shoulder, trying to cut around quarters at their next job. if there is a moment in time when they think about it, and truthfully, the skills one needs to win a campaign are often different than what it takes to
govern. there is a lot of people that campaign and transition over into administration. some people can't because it is not their skill set. terry: whose job is it to tell them their skill set will not land them in the administration? clay: everybody has a place. there is a key and appointments which is how to say no. and personnel types, we say the president makes the appointment and the others make the disappointment. [laughter] clay: so the question is, how do you disappoint somebody? terry: sure. clay: you never say you -- something negative. you never tell senator so-and-so about his person is not going to be, you know, the king of something, a small country at his request. you never say your constituent, something negative. what you say is, something will happen, why, and i am very interested in your qualifications -- which is all true. your ability to serve and campaign. and we hope that you will hang tight because of all kind of different roles.
they can be challenged. chris: i think the challenge also is you have to hear out the different to people on campaigns. your senior people, policy people all have a role. there are real challenges, what do you do with the 23-year-old field organizer who has camped out in a battleground state for the last six months and has organized and really has given up a huge part of his or her life to help win? trying to translate that skill to governing is a harder challenge. clay: i don't know how many of those people there are, but i
think it is 15. there is no sense of limit, and it generally works about 1700. this lower level, very important job in key areas, the person who is camped out in ohio for six months and just did yeoman work and went up to ohio because -- generally is an ideal person to go and be this person over commerce and this person over health or whatever. and also that person i would expect to be assistant secretary for nuclear defense, it is just -- there is a fit for just about everybody in the campaign if they want to be involved in this administration. terry: you don't have to say no very often? clay: you might have this person over here, and how about this?
you know what this is that the time. but again, the key is, you are trying to fill positions. you are trying to get work done. the first step in that direction is, find them qualified, lead the work needing to get done. terry: the work you are doing is r.e agenda the president is lisa: people are policy. you think about your priorities, and you will do your cabinet quickly. you want to think about, what are the key things the president, the candidate has,
the goals they set on the campaign? what do you want to quickly do you come into office? you need people to implement those. one of the challenges is what the senate confirmed, what mac was describing in terms of the cooperation that he got on the hill, is more of a challenge today. and so one thing and incoming administration needs to think about is also taking advantage of the positions where you can just appoint someone, and getting people into agencies in those. there are more than 4000 positions, is that right? it is a lot, so inevitably something where it slows down. for an incoming administration to try to back that up as much as possible, so when you come in, you have people or slates lined up you can start to move and get an agency that will be important. clay: what is an example? the question was, somebody had said --
i just got an idea yesterday. norman would be a great democratic member of -- senior member -- of our administration. and i said, we found some great thoughts. he knows housing. i'm sorry, transportation, he knows transportation as well as the chairman of the whatever committee. and i say great, what do we want the secretary of transportation to do? be really effective at working with the congress. [laughter] clay: touchdown. so he has that background, well regarded in congress, both sides of the aisle and so on. it is win-win. but that came up originally because he was a democrat looking for a political thing
of, the whole thing is this is bipartisan. the thing that drove it primarily was the nature of the background, and that fits exactly, what the policy people said they would want at the head of their department. terry: so to take this example, transportation and country's airline infrastructure was not george w. bush's primary policy structure. it is probably 13 out of 13 on the list. how do you decide to pay attention to that nomination and that, the qualifications of somebody who is not obviously in the cabinet? skip the cabinet because you have got to fill out the cabinet. how do you go out feeling below the agencies? do you focus on the agenda or find -- we can fill out the entire transportation department
in one fell swoop. do you go for the guys you can get in and stand up that part of the government whether it is important to the agenda or not, or do you fight what you have to fight for the people that you really want because they are key to the president's education agenda and you want the education department filled top to bottom to promote the president's agenda? clay: you tie it to the work you want to get done. and so you fill up the transportation positions. he has been asked by the president -- it has been announced. norman and i are good friends. now. [laughter] and he comes in and he says, i have a whole bunch of people i want to bring with me into the transportation department. and i said, i kind of went, i said, here is the way we would like this to work.
you, nobody is recommended to the president that you don't recommend for future positions. and nobody is recommended to the president that we personally pushed out. so we will name, and you have to agree. so maybe you have 15 people with 17 jobs, and we will be looking at it from a different perspective, perhaps more focused on other things than your relationship. but if she agrees that is the right thing because she is the one held accountable for filling the ranks and transportation for people that can get the work done, the president wants to get done, then you will be happy, she will be happy and is
recommended to the president. if you can't agree that this person is significantly more successful getting it done, this person is the risk and so on, then you agree to disagree and find somebody you can both agree on. terry: so you take it to the president? clay: no. you argue your relationship with the secretary. they feel good about everybody on their team. but we have had, we have had people, in who were governors of states who remain nameless, and their suggestions for who they want on their team all caps from that state. they were all came from their staff as governor. every one of them. we said, you know, this person is going to be the secretary of x for the united states of america, not united states of whatever. this will not work. this is -- it is not going to work.
we can't agree on this. we will take one job at a time, he can we both have to agree. it is harder to do it that way. i think nixon told his cabinet, you, you can pick on your own people. your team. disastrous. others have said, i will pick all the people. and i will tell you your team, who your direct reports are. disaster, because you are an extremely well-qualified person. your the secretary of something, but you have never met your direct reports before. you have no relationship with any of them. i don't believe i want that job.
it is a mistake looking for a place to happen. terry: and the guy that says, i will take that job is not the -- chris: i will add diversity. it is not only diversity as gender, race, it is people that bring variety of experiences whether it is state and local government, private practice or nonprofit, you look for people that do not just come out of the typical washington establishment. washington lawyers, bankers -- to be sure, there are jobs for which specialized experience is necessary. you are head of the faa, you want somebody who knows who knows aviation. you want a good, smart manager who has got some level of policy with political savvy. terry: is diversity something you expect the democrats to talk about and republicans not talk about? in other words, this attitude you have because democrats typically are thought of his having a giant coalition of a whole bunch of groups that have a bunch of different interest,
so the number she dashed so that notion of diversity is a critical way of doing business in the democratic party, because it is a big tent with a lot of different voices, and the republican party is one voice articulating one position -- didn't seem like that to you? clay: no, here is the way we did it. the president said about a month in, by the way, let's every once in month tell me how we are doing on various types of diversity. ethnicity, gender, by washington insiders versus washington outsiders, by different ways of -- because if it is all different -- if it is only the usual suspects, you are going to get only the usual type of government. so you want new thinking, you
want fresh thinking, you want -- and all these studies about the more diverse a group of people is that is making decisions, the better the decision it is. diversity can be defined as many different ways as you want to. tell me how that compares to higher administrations. so we have talk of how many washington inside the beltway people we have pointed, outside the beltway, what percent are from mississippi, whatever, alabamians, whatever. let's work harder for whatever. but it turned out that we, the first time we started looking at it was probably march. and we were very diverse.
it is not a conscious ring. there were no quotas are goals. we were pretty proud of the way we, you know, had done that. terry: is that something that gets decided before he is president-elect? clay: what is decided? terry: this thing about diversity. chris: president obama said early on he wanted an administration that reflected america. there is no specific quota, no saying, we needed this and this and this. it was just that we should look for a diversity of people. every study that has been done on this in the context of organ dynamics,izational the more diverse, the better it the decision making will be. this is a think
democrat versus republican. it is about a well-managed organization. >> i agree. panels you do the policy , is that a concern or is it just about their policy expertise? say -- theyown and are going into the labor group and they are one kind of person. they all have a strong union background, for example. arehese agency review teams relatively small. expertise is the piece you focus on the most because you want someone that knows the faa and someone else that knows the fair labor standards act. there are substantive needs that are great at that point. you also keep in mind that you want it to be a diverse group.
you want to major you have a variety of perspectives. -- transportation may have been number 13 on president bush's list for top agencies but, 9/11, leon panetta is making a lot of important decisions. upetimes, you set yourself focus on an issue that was unexpected. >> let me give you a good example. you want to find the best qualified people because you would never know. even if an item is not your top agenda, you never know when something is going to come up. one of the big things that happened during the first term thehe obama administration, oil. it devastated the gulf coast 4-3-four months. we appointed, we nominated and
confirmed a secretary of energy who was a nobel winning physicist. agency, the department of energy, did not have the lead in the response and recovery effort, he got detailed down there and they helped design the mechanism that capped the oil well. --t falls under the category other duties as assigned. you went to get the best people on your team. >> >> to sam not necessarily looking for the best but to do the work, who would say that? who would do that? so late out there as what your
goal is, we are finding the best people to do the work. turned out he was a fantastic guide to be the secretary of transportation. but we knew, we predicted that going in internet when 9/11 hit, important that transportation be led by an extreme we knowledgeable person, we had one. >> someone congress could count on. ironically, i would say one of the most effective cabinet members we had was ray heard, republican congress and from illinois that was placed as secretary of transportation. i'm not sure anybody would have said at the outset that this 12 or 14 term republican caucus room -- congressman would end up being an effective secretary transportation but he was because he was good at what he did. >> talk about the demands from having someone from the other party. if anything you think about
when you are -- is that it than you think about when you are sitting on triton that -- down to identify the cabinet? >> if the person is incompetent. >> is that an advantage? among the five people that would do a good job, does it matter that one is a democrat. >> diversities good. -- diversity is good. when the cabinet is seen around the president and the president throws out a sizzling issue are in a cabinet meeting in some of the other party sitting there, i can tell you, this may not go down well, diversities good.
all different standpoints, diversities good. -- diversity is good. >> can you talk about how come you start with the candidates and have been assigned this responsibility, he had taken care of the transition, you have walked into the white house and now you have this job for three or four years we are carrying out the ambitions and the agency and you decided is time to go do that job down in the weeds. how do you make that decision? i will tell you -- >> >> i will tell you having this decision, we have all had a multitude of different jobs, when the president asked you to do something you do it. i do think there is value in having people move throughout the government. many jobs and political jobs are really high-level project managers. it helps to have expertise in those areas. the people who understand how government works and understand
how to craft and implement, you can use those people throughout the government. >> everyone of these people made the decision at some point to lead the white house and go into the better of government, into the executive branch. >> you are in the executive branch in the white house. the president suggested to me, i've been the personnel guy for two years. got almost all the positions filled and he said, you want to think about getting of the role? i want to make sure you don't get burned out. i said that is great. but i would like to do is be the deputy director for management. > why? >> i bring method to madness. that is what i do. there's a lot of madness and
the federal government so there's a lot of method and i think i would be good at it. and he said go get them. i got nominated. he brought up the idea. time to get people -- make sure they're not a flat learning curve. excited about the daily challenges. in my case, i had enthusiasm. >> why labor? >> i had not worked on labor issues that i had a passion for what the department of labor does. we help people find jobs and when we get the jobs, we protect them on the workplace. it was hard for me to see a more noble way to spend my career. it was also a chance to work with a really dynamic secretary of labor with tom perez people are reading about these days. and working hard challenges. i had spent most of my career as a political person but what i lacked was true management
experience. when you are the deputy secretary, you are the coo of a massive organization if that means budget and hr and i.t., these are the nuts and bolts of the organization and that was a challenge i wanted to make and i was fortunate and got that opportunity. >> getting down and focus to peace and/or prosperity. labor. >> most of the work of the government is done in the agencies. a lot of young poets come to the white house at think, i'm in the white house, i don't want to go anywhere else. i encourage them to because the practical expense to get, you are working on programs, most people out of the country know much more about the department of labor thing to do about the lip -- white oak. you can make a difference in hose jobs.
>> you want to office of management and budget as well. >> that is because the president asked. >> not because you bring the madness? >> it was similar to clay that it was a management position and ended up being interagency ork. >> is there a point at which you sit down and say, on election day we had these tell things, these were the 12 banks most important to the president that made up the big book that just talked about. key items. and they are all gone. we either succeeded or we swam our length of the relay and it is time for something else to pick it up. out there and executive branch, there all caps of responsibilities. someone has to make sure the
faa radar system working and that is not terribly sexy thing but that is an important part of the government so you get to a point where you say, we are replacing the president's agenda with this regulatory responsibilities of maintaining the government. there's been seven years and we have done all we can do. there's still a lot that we need to do as opposed to want to do. somebody still have to do these things and that is an important part of the labor agenda of the emocratic party. how do you keep doing that everyday knowing that there is a time it is going to run out and you need to be preparing he next generation, if there's going to be another democratic administration, you have been in this situation where there will be a successor of possibly
the same party. how much do time -- time to spend preparedness got to get ready with the problems facing labor or management regardless of what party? they are the statutory things. not the big legislation. do you know what i mean? >> fortunately, or unfortunately given the state of gridlock, you never at the point where you have gotten everything done. until the very last day you will keep trying to push her agenda forward. as we have learned and i think future presidents will learn given the dynamic in washington, the agenda of your agency will be the agenda of the administration. we will continue to have divisive government.
the billions of dollars of grant money that the federal government gives out, the multitude of regulations and initiatives that derive from government agencies is the, makes it a competence of the white house tried to push. >> the record of the administration will be what you have done the record administration that we set out in this big book that josh was talking about we want to check the things off, didn't, didn't, didn't wear in the end administration is just the list of things we checked off we did? >> we got health care past. those of the website of a competent. did we get a comprehensive i'm a change legislation done? no. but we were climate change treaty we have signed. we have done significant changes in the missions of motor vehicles -- emissions of
motor vehicles and trucks. you can either go about it with one big legislative a which is what people often think about or 10 regulatory changes which ay have the same affect. >> it is not an on-off switch. you're continually working on the priorities of the administration. during even when vice president gore was running for president, the clinton administration was working very hard to a cop was all the things that president clinton wanted to a copy. also to the other part of your question, you have a discrete set of people that are working on transition and so it is not an either/or. >> is that an important thing? if you're worried about transitions, he need to have a discrete people -- group of people whose job it is to focus on that. >> if you want to get anything
done, he to have discrete people. -- you have to have discrete eople. all generalizations are false including this one. here's another one, the primary reason every government organization, every government in the world does not work to satisfaction is because they don't have, they don't govern with desired outcomes in mind and there's little transparency about how well they are performing relative to the goals they do have. that is the case of the federal government and every country and every state. the goals are outcome oriented and are specific enough attached to the money available and not tied to time frames. it is hard to govern if you have specific goals and if you
make the goals transparent, fairly clear and you make transparent how your performance into the goals. 've proposed to the president, a president, i propose to him that his next data being addressed said this is what i want to be held accountable. actually proposing to his speechwriter. here what i want to be held accountable for the next four years. a compass any of them, they have civil so little regard for federal government that you
will be held accountable for what you are going to do that they will be stunned that you have proposed this. maybe it is too big an dea. the genesis of that, the essence of that is why government does not work better. there is no, here's the we promised and here is that we want to do and what we need to go faster on and so forth. there is little transparency to how we are performing relative to that. >> some of that is the gotcha ame. >> why do we want to make it well known what is not working? did you ever taken eighth-grade ivics class? like china's somewhat on democracy and wonderful things happen. that is what that is. we need to figure out how to springboard some might to what
people -- sunlight to look up or to caucus. -- accomplished. let's put a man on the moon at the end of the decade. mountains move when that happens. the president's management agenda, bush 43, to find outcome and goals -- defined outcome goals on a quarterly basis with how to perform relative to the goals. issued a scorecard, red ellow-green. agencies notice and were highly motivated. we celebrated when they got the green. it was incredible. the congress resisted it because it is harder for them to be members of congress. you can't get bridges to nowhere if you have goals. in general, that is listed as he got through it. there is for a little list making with what we have a cop was. -- accomplished.
you are sharing with your stakeholders how you believe you are doing well. >> what is the question now? i'm a believer that you set clear goals and make your best efforts to do them. i'm not convinced there is one way to a compass those goals. -- accomplish those goals. the traditional way of passing laws, the school rock version, it will be a long way -- time. >> can we talk about other ways executive in nature? how much do you depend upon --
if you are setting aside a team, that team is set aside to help prepare the next administration, is that he mostly the political people you have brought with you that represent the agency at the administration and person or is it a group of civil servants who are the professionals who face these problems day in and day out and have faced these columns all day of all their lives? is it possible to sit down and say president obama has a long list of goals and the department of labor that we have yet to accomplish and we will fight for those every day until the day we walk out of the building and the responsible decisions that have to be made to help the exit administration get ready, we are going to lead to the professionals who have faced these problems and the transitions to new administrations regardless of
party. >> i don't think it is an either/or. i don't think it's the political people running through the tape until june 20. in the career people are doing he turnover, handover. regardless of who is my successor, because the party, i have a lot of things i want to talk about. what you do realize and i know you do, what other states realize is that the majority would have in the government is not partisan. it happens regardless of who the administration is. there is a broad agenda. the notable to government in terms of the programs with minister are not partisan. you just want them to work as well as they possibly can. > same for management? >> any administration in the ast six months trying to
launch new ships, better well prepared to feel at that. -- fail at that. t will not happen. the important thing is that the white house and his agency leadership, department leadership agree on what we are going to what our priorities are in terms of how we will run our business for the next -- last six months. they would all agree that they're not going to try to get some new bill passed or cut this thing in half because it will not happen. you get agreement. you will not have some rogue agency out here going off and getting three new balloons launched when it is impossible. the second thing is, because as we have talked, because the
standard for handoffs between outgoing and incoming and administration has been set so high, from your objective viewpoint, because the work by the obama coming in and push oing out, that is a standard that the obama administration has to live up to and they are mindful of that because they were the benefactor and they praised and they wanted tell them -- be held in the same regard as the bush administration to be held in. it is a very high priority. you don't want to get second-rate status to that responsibly. the third thing, the agency primary responsibly for welcoming 18 in if the crew staff. -- the new team and is the areer staff. identify this new career people
who are going to lead this effort and say, is talk about what the priorities ought to be, what the proponents of a well-organized welcoming strategy ought to be in here so we ought to do and here's the information and you are in harge. they are highly motivated to implement that the company really want the new boss to like them. that is human nature. make that the best welcoming party and get them up to speed. the agency will benefit from hat. >> six months from june 20, 2017 -- > july 20. >> have you had this conversation? >> it sounded exactly like that's. -- this.
it is not to say we will not continue pushing agendas and stop setting the table for the next administration of purchase we help implement, we are also sort of thinking about what are the longer-term transition issues, what are the documents we want to prepare for the new income secretary and the new incoming team. >> we will turn questions to the audience now. wait for the microphone. >> getting back to transitions, there was no discussion about the transition of congressional leadership as a goal or idea for an incoming administration whether it is a really good administration. t seems to me that the
gridlock, and a lot of people in america think it is because the leadership in congress. i'm talking about both the house and senate. ny attention paid to that? it seems to me, if i were president which i will not be, that i would want my guy, as much as possible to be in charge of the senate and in charge of the house. my guy or gal. i recognize that that has some problems in and of itself. >> they have no control or influence on that. they are elected. >> that is part of the environment. >> executive branch meddling in he legislative branch. >> george w. bush of texas was not try to figure how to get
rid of the public and leadership in the house and senate on the way to be president. >> that was not part of my lan. >> the way the congress looks as to whether congress looks and you have to deal with that as an issue. it is not something the president -- >> it is set up to be independent. >> early on after election day you set up a series of courtesy visits between the president-elect and the congressional leadership, whoever he or she may be 80 tries hard as he can to form good relationships and find areas of common agreement. that becomes more challenging in this political dynamic.
>> is there any thought of personnel that there would be more continuity of the same people regardless of more bipartisan and that may be a staggering of taking over and something considered in the future? >> that is the way the state of texas does it. positions are termed as though a third of all positions turnover every two years. these are full-time positions that run all our state gencies. there have been some such a solution -- legislation that has reduced the number of senate confirmed positions and kept them as political positions removed them from some confirmation. i think about 160 or something reduced out of 1200. there is recognition of the
opportunity but i don't know that there's a clear thing that ought to be done that has not been done. >> i think that has a lot of merit. there nothing democratic or republican about homeland security or national security with the faa and i do think having everybody turn over on monday creates -- one day creates risks. ny new president wants his around people and their and that becomes a challenge as well. >> the country of australia, where there a new administration come a jobs change -- eight jobs change people -- in the united states t's a couple thousand. at thousand senate confirmed positions. >> the director of the fbi is oppo-taco appointed and is confirmed by the senate -- political appointee and is confirmed by the senate.
aren't most regulatory boards termed? >> right. >> a fair amount of the administration is to find what it is common. -- when it comes in. recognition that we needed federal reserve and the central ank working. there may be some vacancies but they are not, they don't all leave. >> >> president obama said to the secretary of defense, please stay in place and tell your people to stay in place until somebody comes and stands you down. that is not an unusual ractice.
it's unusual either but it is possible to do that. > it was not until i had the privilege of being an appointee that i really understood the process. i come from the private sector and had the opportunity to erve president bush. i will tell you, it was my expense to relocate, it was a long process to go through the security clearance, fbi checkpoint and you really don't have any security in your job whatsoever. i came first term and hope we got a second term in fortunately we did. i was one that got to make changes from one department to another but i just want people to know that it is really quite a process from an appointee's point of view what it is that
you are changing in your lives. i did not come from the political campaigning even though i was active, that is not how i was not. i was recommended because of the position i had in the private sector in the community. it is something to recognize the thousand or two that make changes and alive to have the privilege putting forth the president's agenda and doing the work of the service of all americans. i want to say thank you to the three of you who have critical roles in finding people like myself who never got been in the years that we would have a chance to work for the president of the united states. i think you have touched on an important topic about the many disincentives of serving in the government. i spent an entire career helping out would never have to go through senate confirmation and august the i did for this job. i had a relatively smooth confirmation but you are opening your life up to a lot
of people. every aspect, when i was in college i wrote a column for the school newspaper and asked me to get a copy of every single column i had written 30 years ago. i said i don't have the. if you want to go back and pull them down, feel free to do that. they looked through all of my social media. once i got confirmed, because the department of labor regulates every company in the country, acted divest every ingle stock i owned. you make a lot of personal and financial sacrifices for these jobs. that is a disincentive for people serving. >> we put a letter, i found a
copy of the is one of involved in serving and it was scary. it was all the things chris talked about. you have to comport with this and everything that has occurred in your life. you have to live with it and take public blemish. we wanted to say, make your people have some understanding of what they might be getting into. i call the person that was the head of the personnel at the beginning of bush 41 and i said, look at this thing that want to put it on the website so many good to thought the application, you have to read it before. he said this is way too negative. said perfect. >> in some ways, a leadership is about getting people to do sacrifice.
i think the amazing thing is there is an enormous number of people who are actually willing o sacrifice. >> people say to you, thank you for your service to our country. here else do you get that? a great privilege and honor and it is hard work. >> anybody else? >> how big is the transition team and how the transition team formed? >> for bush 41, it was one person. before hand.
then the transition, ended up by ginny were 19th -- january 19 of 2001, there were 600 eople. some of them were just hanging around. it were 600 people doing a lot. by october of 2008, hundreds of people working in a suspect by the end of, we had 600 700,000 people apply electronically. ou all have -- >> 400,000 people applied online. >> we had over 600 just on
agency reviews. we must have had overall probably a hundred thousand. -- 800,000. >> at one point, it was just one person. it always starts with just one person. >> it is a massive management effort. it is longer than 77 days. we had our teams in place prior to the election. it has to be. >> you have to start ooner. >> at some part -- pointers to be processed to you and says you're in. figured out. >> that was a year and happy for the election. >> and chris, barack obama says to you, you are it. figure it out. >> and their fortunately our organizations for the nstitutional memory of the
first thing i did was i went back and talk to jim thompson ran john kerry's transition and handed me a docs -- box of his documents. i have been in my attic of the three different democratic ocument. the challenge we face was we were drawing on condition that had never been omitted. you can do all the planning you want, but you had to see how it worked before he can assess the effectiveness. we were flying a little bit blind but with john podesta, did you an incredible level of expertise. >> i sorry, we're out of time. maybe you could ask your question right now.
>> it occurs to me that the confirmation process is broken for both the mccutchen republicans. in the transition, it is so important. is there any effort to reach out to the senate majority leaders and senate minority leader's to agree on what the rules like be for the confirmation process. not who will be in the government, but how do we get the president's appointee into the government faster than we are able to do now? > it is on the to do list. if the white house is going to have, instead of normally seven people as special assistant to the present level who drive the amount of work that comes out, if they want to get 400 people in there by the august recess and set up to a 25 people is typically the number of people confirmed, they have to have
more than seven people working on it. nice to be 15 but the senate does not expand their capacity to the fbi does not expand their capacity, and the government ethics is not expand their intelligence department, then it will just go back up. it will not flow through the process. there have been general discussions about expanding capacity but it has to be, it has to take place again this ear with the fbi and the senate leadership and i don't know whether they'll be represented were not. f the candidates are expecting, he have to start with what their goal is. if the goal is to get this many are that many company to sit down with the senate and say we're going to send you twice as many people as we normally o.
how can we work together so that does not get hung up? they will have to figure it out. >> even in the best of all worlds, the senate does not move very fast. it is not designed to do so. it is a body that runs on unanimous consent to its any one senator was to block something, they can hold it p. that happens we are trying to move as many nominations as you can. if one senator raised their hand and says i don't want this person to go through, you get stopped. >> even the vetting before it even gets to visit -- phones. >> if you -- vote. >> if you reach out to the minority leader, if one of the other could win, could it not be some sort of effort to make an agreement between the two
senate leaders of the party and how they are going to limit some of the things that are etting in the way. i recognize it operates by unanimous consent but it was not always so. abraham lincoln appointed the secretary of the treasury it was confirmed that afternoon. he fired him the next day and sent another one up. it is not impossible. we've gotten ourselves somehow into the situation when one said wednesday want to punish the other side and when the other side wins in its revenge for past actions. it is to be interested in the democratic or republican interest for that to happen or such labor countries interest. >> it is also senate prerogative. we worked on an initiative just to streamline the paper part of it. there semi-funk to fill out. yet at the thing question in
three different ways. we went after it this way. even tried to get that there is a challenge. it is, i completely agree with you. places where there are so much room for improvement. the senate fraud to committees and jurisdictions something we have to continue to work ith. >> getting it to be more favorable puts more of the people is one thing, but that is irrelevant if they can't bet -- vet them in a reasonable ime. he fbi does the vetting. their capacity has to be consistent with the volume of potential nominations that are coming at them from the white house. that is why the country some effort and there is none. >> a point about what is broken in washington.
something you said where it is not in the senate's interest to hold up these people. i agree. but it may be innate individual senators interest and that is the problem with congress. it is the individual interest of the member of congress versus what is good for the institution where what is good for the country. that is one of the reasons things are as broken as they are right now. >> we are out of time. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
>> all this voter id nowadays a lot of places aren't going to have voter id. what does that mean? you just keep walking in and voting? >> what is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other. >> watch our issues spotlight on voting rights saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span nd c-span.org. >> a signature feature of c-span's book tv is our coverage of book fares and festivals across the country.
on saturday book tv will be live at the mississippi book festival for their second annual literary lawn party at the state capital. other features focus on civil rights, state policy, mississippi state history and the 2016 election. 3 >> now a discussion on .ezbollah's involvement a shiite militant group and political party based in lebanon. this is a little over an hour.