Is there a ‘ebook of secrets and techniques?’: Boise State knowledgeable gives perception on presidential transition
Dr. Charlie Hunt, Professor of Political Science at Boise State, answered our sometimes fantastic questions about the president’s transition.
BOISE, Idaho – The presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on the steps of the U.S. Capitol was a completely different scene than two weeks earlier when rioters stormed the building.
Many saw the initiation as a step forward for a country that is still very divided.
“[Doing] Doing things in this ritualistic manner in the Capitol is, in my opinion, a great symbolic rebuke for this insurgency, and I think you saw this reflected in President Biden’s inaugural address, ”said Dr. Charlie Hunt, Professor of Political Science at Boise State.
Hunt’s research focuses on American politics with an emphasis on the presidency. At the beginning of his term of office, of course, the term of office of former President Donald Trump ends.
Hunt said Trump’s approach to the office of president was certainly unique, but it has gained a foothold among millions of Americans.
“I think a lot of Americans, when looking for a president, are looking for someone to represent them, and often that means someone who talks like me, who isn’t afraid to curse or say the inarticulate thing and that makes them sick by a lot of conventional politicians who always have a carefully crafted soundbite and things like that, and I understand why a lot of Americans think that way, ”he said.
Hunt believes that the “Trump way” of politics will likely serve as a blueprint for some future political candidates.
“I think Trump is not the last Trump-like candidate we will ever see for president,” he said. “I think there will be others who will try to repeat his style because they know he has made some significant achievements.” least of all among Republicans. ”
When Hunt thinks about the Trump presidency, he says that one of the most notable accomplishments has to be the signing of the Republican Tax Reform Act, which made major changes to tax law. Other big policy changes the Trump administration has made are unlikely to last.
“In terms of politics, you could say that he has been very ineffective as he has taken a lot of executive action through executive orders and other executive action to change politics and change the way the bureaucracy is run “Things like that,” said Hunt. If he hasn’t already, President Biden will undo much of it with the stroke of a pen. That is the danger of policy making through executive regulations, which is that these things do not last and do not have the lasting effects of working with Congress and legislative development. “
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Dr. Hunt is right, Biden is quick to take executive action to reverse Trump policies on travel bans, climate change and the economy.
As administrations change, there have been questions about the transition. While almost all of the White House staff will move on, Hunt states that there is continuity in key positions in Washington.
“It’s a very interesting process,” he said. “There are a lot of people, especially in the bureaucracy, who stick with what we would call career officials.” These are the experts in intelligence and security, these are health experts like the CDC. These people stick with it, so there is always some kind of continuity. “
A popular urban legend has it that the outgoing president gives his successor a “Book of Secrets”. The mythological book, which has featured on television shows and Hollywood films, supposedly contains America’s deepest and darkest top-secret information.
“I wouldn’t say I know much about it, I’ve heard about it,” said Hunt. “My best guess would be to follow the signs and evidence, and I suspect there isn’t much physical evidence of [the existence of] a book of secrets. “
There is something Trump left behind for Biden, however – a letter left at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
“Traditionally this is a short letter, just some advice,” said Hunt. “It’s a very fine tradition. You’d have guessed that President Trump wouldn’t have left a letter for President Biden, given how long he challenged the election, but the word is that he left him a letter, and I wonder if we’ll ever find out what it said. “
The content of the letter was not praised, but Biden called it “generous”.
Hunt said Biden and his team need to take the first steps as the country faces a myriad of challenges, including the pandemic, the economy, and the social justice movement to name a few. His first major test will be to treat the pandemic, and Hunt believes the test will set an important tone for his presidency.
“When you can see that he has dealt with this effectively, he may have political capital to really advance some of these other important issues like immigration, depending on what he wants to prioritize in the first year of his tenure. ” he said.