Monday, November 10, 2008

Next Step: The Transition

On January 20, 2009 President George W. Bush will watch as President Elect Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as 44th President of the United States. Between now and then there will be a transition. Obama will have to be brought up to speed on National Security first as well as all other aspects of governing that goes beyond the partisan politics.

While I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall as Obama learned things he didn't know before regarding our National Security, it would be purely out of curiosity if a light would come on over his head when he learns about the very real threats facing our nation that he didn't deal with during the campaign.

So instead, I'm looking forward to a very smooth transition from the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration. I remember all too well the reports of the transition from Clinton to Bush. Items were taken by the Clintons from the White House that shouldn't have been. Carpets were torn. Walls were scuffed, and most childishly, the "W's" were removed from computer keyboards.

From all accounts that I've read and heard about thus far, President and Mrs. Bush have been extremely gracious to the Obama's and various departments are bending over backwards to help the Obama transition team have a smooth move. Not only is this classy, it's necessary for the country. Imagine if the Bush people were bitter and angry about the outcome of the election and left graffiti on the walls, or stole various items from the people's house. The new administration might have every road block thrown in front of them that's conceivable and taking their eyes off, even briefly, the safety of the borders and the American people.....oh wait. We don't have to imagine. Bush came in at a disadvantage with his transition process because of the election that lasted 35 days, then the petty vandalism committed by the Clinton Administration. Less than 8 months later, we were attacked by terrorists.

The new President deserves, by virtue of the election, to have every advantage and no hindrances placed before him. I'm all for kicking his butt around (not literally) when he proposes the silly policies and laws he wants enacted that will be bad for the country. However, the transition from one administration to another is not the time for partisanship. It IS the time for America to shine in it's transfer of one person for another to hold the highest office in the land.

I am worried that a President Obama will be the socialist he portrayed himself to be during the campaign and that he has the Congress all in agreement with him because they are all liberal. For now though, I'm happy to see that the Bush Administration is working hard and seems prepared for any attempts at attacks on the American people on American soil during the time of transition.

Finally, I hope that Obama learns from the Bush Administration on how to transition to the next administration. I'm hoping he gets to put it into practice in four years, but whenever it is, I do hope that Obama puts (to quote John McCain) Country First over his own ego, or disappointment when he leaves and the Republicans take back the White House, whether in four years or eight years.

President Bush may not be popular at this time, but he is a class act and showing how to make the transition without the bitterness of the past administration.

Your comments are welcome.


1 comment:

Jim said...

I didn't think anyone remembered the vandalism. Great post. Here's a couple of stories that back up what you said.

Gore vandalism has paper trail
White House staffer: Computer damage reflected in flood of requisition orders
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
By Paul Sperry
© 2001

WASHINGTON -- A career White House employee who helped replace computer keyboards broken by departing Clinton and Gore staffers in January says President Bush could document the vandalism through requisition orders. Some 100 keyboards had to be replaced during the transition.
Democrats and former Clinton aides have challenged Bush to prove charges that spiteful former aides trashed the White House before the inauguration.
Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer finally detailed the damage for the press this week.
He says that, among other things, 100 keyboards were broken, 10 phone lines were cut and several brass emblems with the presidential seal were removed from doors. Most of the damage was done in the Eisenhower Building, or Old Executive Office Building, where Vice President Al Gore and his staff kept offices.
Fleischer, hard-pressed to show a paper trail backing his damage assessment, says the White House did not keep detailed repair records.
But the White House employee says that at least the computer vandalism is reflected in an unusual surge in requisition orders for keyboards at the time.
"You'd see it in the requisition orders," he said in an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily.
"It's not like we'd throw away a bunch of keyboards one day," said the employee, who requested his name be withheld. "They were damaged beyond repair and we had to replace them."
The employee, part of the White House computer staff, says that Clinton aides did not stop at removing the "W" -- Bush's famous middle initial -- from keyboards, which would otherwise be a relatively harmless and humorous prank. But he says they also gouged out the contacts beneath the plastic keys, rendering the keyboards useless.
"The membranes were jabbed out underneath," he said.
He says most of the keyboards were made by Microsoft and included ergonomic features.
A CompUSA salesman handling government accounts in the Washington area priced for WorldNetDaily a similar Microsoft ergonomic model at $33, including the government discount, or $39.99 retail.
Costs from maintenance and repair of White House offices and equipment during the transition were paid out of General Services Administration's transition fund. GSA has offices in the White House complex.
Clinton supporters pooh-poohed Fleischer's damage assessment because they said it relied on the five-month-old recollections of White House workers.
But the assessment jibes with earlier, contemporaneous accounts by White House workers tasked with assessing and repairing the damages.
Those workers -- interviewed by WorldNetDaily in January within days of the vandalism -- include the computer employee who helped replace the keyboards while setting up new Bush aides at their work stations, a phone-operations manager who helped survey phone-line damage, including in the West Wing, and a GSA building manager who was involved in supervising the custodial crews.
In terms of damage, "there was never anything like this" in previous administrations, said one career worker.
"The money will come from taxpayers," said another.
Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., has asked Congress' investigative arm, the General Accounting Office, to consider reinvestigating the vandalism charges. GAO had closed its investigation because Bush officials, wanting to "move on" from the Clinton scandals, had produced no proof of vandalism, while at the same time privately ordering career workers to clam up, WorldNetDaily has learned.
"We need to speak to some of the government employees, who were charged with repairing or cleaning up the damage, to see what they saw or witnessed," said one congressional source close to Barr.
Phone calls seeking comment from Fleischer's office were not immediately returned.
Previous stories:
60 White House PCs sabotaged
Post confirms earlier WND vandalism account
Bush Aide Details Alleged Clinton Staff Vandalism
Back to the Clinton Criminal Page
List Is Response to Credibility Questions
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 3, 2001; Page A01
White House officials yesterday released a list of damage they say was done by outgoing staffers of President Bill Clinton, including obscene graffiti in six offices, a 20-inch-wide presidential seal ripped off a wall, 10 sliced telephone lines and 100 inoperable computer keyboards.
For months, Democrats had questioned the administration's credibility because officials refused to document allegations of vandalism they made in the week after President Bush's inauguration. In April, the General Accounting Office said it was unable to confirm damage, in part because of what it called a "lack of records" from the White House.
Most of the incidents described yesterday by White House press secretary Ari Fleischer were said to have occurred in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House. Pornographic or obscene greetings were left on 15 telephone lines in the offices of the vice president and White House counsel and in the scheduling and advance offices, Fleischer said. As a precaution, all phones were disabled and reprogrammed, he said.
The details were provided to The Washington Post after several days of inquiries about the degree of White House cooperation with the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO said in April that it "found no damage" to White House real estate. The GAO did not prepare a report but said in a three-paragraph letter that it could reach no further conclusions because the White House said it had no written record of damage. The letter did not mention the Eisenhower building, where most of the damage had been reported.
White House officials had said they did not release the information sooner because of Bush's desire to "move forward and not live in the past."
The vandalism brouhaha started the day after Bush was inaugurated with boasts by Clinton staffers that they had removed the "W" key caps from their computers, and it escalated with televised allegations by Fleischer on Jan. 25 that departing aides had "cut wires" and performed other acts that the administration was "cataloguing."
The episode seemed to deflate on Jan. 26, when Bush said the only damage was that there "might have been a prank or two" and Fleischer said the catalogue consisted of mental notes, kept by one aide.
Fleischer said yesterday the written list was prepared Friday, based on the recollections of officials and career government employees, in response to Democrats' "suggestion that the Bush White House made things up."
"The White House will defend itself and the career employees," Fleischer said. "We tried to be gracious, but the last administration would not take graciousness. By getting the information out, we hope to put an end to this, so everyone can go on with the policy and business of the government."