The good news for President-elect Barack Obama: following George W. Bush is only slightly harder than following Jane Fonda at a Veterans of Foreign Wars rally. The bad news: compared with governing, campaigning is easy.
As much as Obama may want to turn the page and make good on his change mantra during the first hundred days, he might take a moment to read about the Hoover-Roosevelt transition of 1932-33. Or peruse tales of the clumsy Clinton start after the 1992 election. The period between the first Tuesday in November and Jan. 20 can be a treacherous time for an incoming commander in chief, and history is rife with controversy--from radioactive cabinet nominee dramas to tales of political revenge, catty vandalism and petty theft. "The early months are so important," White House veteran David Gergen has said, "because that's when you have the most authority, but that's also when you have the least capacity for making the right decisions." A brief history of some of the most troubled presidential transitions:
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