Bush and Gore both plan transition


Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The government is marching along toward a Jan. 20 handoff of presidential power, even though two men are reaching for the baton.

From the CIA to inaugural parade planners, federal agencies must prepare for the transition without knowing whether George W. Bush or Al Gore will come out on top. The White House calls it moving along “parallel tracks.”

In some cases, it’s more like hurry up and wait.

“We’re kind of in limbo here,” Navy Cmdr. Joe Delcambre, a spokesman for the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, said Wednesday.

By now, the committee should be advising the president-elect’s team on choice sites for inaugural balls and how to choose marching bands.

Instead, they are drawing up contingency plans to help whichever side ends up planning the festivities at double-time pace. Neither candidate has contacted them yet, Delcambre said.

Bush and Gore are setting up competing transition teams, complete with potential Cabinet secretaries.

Gore met at the White House on Wednesday with his transition director, Roy Neel, and two likely choices for prominent posts – Alexis Herman, currently the labor secretary, and Kathleen McGinty.

Bush planned to talk with retired Gen. Colin Powell, his likely pick for secretary of state, at his Texas ranch tooday.

The Texas governor also set up a transition office with a growing staff in suburban McLean, Va. GOP running mate Dick Cheney issued a public call Wednesday for donations to pay for it.

White House chief of staff John Podesta has contacted both the Bush and Gore camps to arrange meetings, said press secretary Jake Siewert.

“Given the unusual situation we’re in … we’re proceeding on parallel tracks now, as much as possible, in terms of intelligence briefings, in terms of giving both teams an opportunity to hear where we are and what we’re doing,” Siewert said.

Some government offices catering to twin transitions three weeks after Election Day:

  • The CIA will give Bush and Cheney daily national security briefings, probably beginning next week. Gore already gets such updates as vice president.

  • A council created by President Clinton to oversee each government agency’s transition progress met at the White House Wednesday. The work includes gathering information about staffing, scheduling and “hot issues” to pass along to the eventual winner, Siewert said.

  • The Secret Service continues planning begun well before the election, still protecting two would-be presidents, first ladies and vice presidents.

  • The General Services Administration has consulted with both camps in setting up taxpayer-financed office space for a president-elect’s team, which normally would have moved in Nov. 8.

    The GSA is under fire from Republicans for refusing to hand over the office keys and $5.3 million after Florida certified Bush as the winner last Sunday. GSA officials say they can’t release the taxpayer money while the election is tied up in court.

    It’s important for an incoming president to make early choices for key White House and Cabinet positions because putting them in place can take months. Those people are subject to FBI background checks, reviews of their finances and ethics scrutiny. Cabinet secretaries and their top aides also must wait for separate Senate investigations and confirmation.

    Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Talk to us

  • More in Local News

    Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
    Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

    The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

    Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
    Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

    Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

    Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

    The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

    Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    $123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

    A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

    Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
    Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

    During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

    Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

    A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

    Will Steffener
    Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

    Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

    Mountlake Terrace Library, part of the Sno-Isle Libraries, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    Sno-Isle workers cite safety, unfilled positions in union push

    Workers also pointed to inconsistent policies and a lack of a say in decision-making. Leadership says they’ve been listening.

    A view over the Port of Everett Marina looking toward the southern Whidbey Island fault zone in March 2021. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Snohomish County agencies to simulate major disaster

    The scenario will practice the response to an earthquake or tsunami. Dozens of agencies will work with pilots.s

    Most Read