Lessons in Governing from the White House Chiefs of Staff
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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Governing from the White House
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We created the Baker Institute to organize eVorts just like the Forum on the Role of the White House Chief of Staff, bringing scholars and journalists into a dialogue with those who have carried the burdens of office, in this case governing from the White House. It was an extraordinary gathering. I doubt that there have ever been this many former chiefs of staff in the same place at the...
Two Operational Dilemmas
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The American White House sits at the nerve center of world history. Its policies reach into every part of the American experience. Its bustling daily routines become the subject of serious conversations the world over. At the core of this nerve center, a bureaucratic operation extends the reach and magnifes the voice of the American president. The White House chief of staff manages...
Chapter 1. Members of the Forum
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The Forum represented the largest gathering of former White House chiefs of staff since the inception of the offce in the post–World War II era. They came together for one extraordinary day to accomplish two goals: First, they wanted to publicly share their thoughts on governing from the White House and to demonstrate that regardless of partisan differences, the experience presented a...
Chapter 2. Starting the White House
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In the spring of 1999, Governor George W. Bush decided two things. First, he decided to run for president. Second, he decided to begin planning for what to do after he had won. For the latter job, he called on his longtime friend and associate Clay Johnson III. The governor charged Mr. Johnson with learning all that he could about how to create a successful transition. When the opportunity...
Chapter 3. Refocusing the White House
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The demands placed on the president’s staff, the character of the nerve center itself, make staff turnover inevitable. Often that change begins with the chief of staff. When a chief of staff leaves, the president finds someone new to take on the core functions of the White House, its organizational routines, its divided and probably sputtering operation, a likely crisis, and its inevitable tensions. ...
Chapter 4. Campaigning, Routine,and Closing Out
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At its simplest, every successful presidency begins with winning another term. Yet, the limits of tenure inevitably close in on an administration. These two phases—governing while campaigning and closing out an administration— are the challenges that “third generation” chiefs of staff often take on. The third discussion between former chiefs of staff covers this relatively unique set of...
Chapter 5. In the Governing Community
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As Secretary Baker notes in his foreword, many of the former chiefs of staff who attended the Forum came to the White House with previous experience in Washington. Some of those participating in this final discussion have played a number of roles inside each of the Constitution’s governing institutions. Some, like Secretary Cheney and Congressman Panetta, have held positions...
Assessing Transition 2001
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Only one person has ever repeated as White House chief of staff. Given this simple historical fact and the propensity of a new president’s team to arrive in town bearing the triple curses of arrogance, adrenalin, and naiveté, managing to govern can easily become a matter of on-the-job training. Assuring the smooth transfer of authority in spite of these probabilities prompted the former...
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The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University is pleased to have presented this forum on the role of the White House chief of staff. It was the very Wrst program that the Baker Institute hosted in Washington, D.C. Since then, the Institute has hosted similar forums on the national security advisor and the secretary of the treasury. In each of these forums, as with the...
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Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2004
Series Title: Joseph V. Hughes Jr. and Holly O. Hughes Series on the Presidency and Leadership