Arduous Transition Awaits Next President

By Michael D. Shear, Michael Abramowitz, Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 19, 2008; Page A01

If Sen. Barack Obama wakes up as the president-elect on Nov. 5, he will immediately assume responsibility for fixing a shredded economy while the Bush administration is still in office. If Sen. John McCain wins the election, he will face an imminent confrontation over spending with a Democratic Congress called back into special session with the goal of passing a new economic stimulus package.

Either way, the 77-day period between Election Day and Inauguration Day, traditionally known simply as the transition, is sure to present difficult challenges to a new president buffeted by intense forces, political and economic, without any chance to recover from the long and bruising campaign.

The challenge of putting the country back on a sound financial track has altered what under the best of circumstances would have been a frenzied period spent forming a new government. Instead, Obama or McCain will be forced to assemble a new administration even as he helps shape policies to ward off further declines in the economy.

And whoever is the new president will be under intense pressure from his own allies to live up to his campaign promises. Antiwar groups would press Obama to start the process of ending the war in Iraq, and conservatives would demand tax cuts from McCain. Either side would want to know that its candidate has an agenda to enact on his first day in the White House. With the outcome of the election still in doubt, neither campaign is eager to discuss plans for that day or the transition that precedes it, other than to acknowledge the urgent circumstances the 44th president will confront.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/10/1
8/AR2008101802140.html?hpid=topnews

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