At the same time, the Reagan Administration assured that the main elements of policymaking were in the hands of competent loyalists, thus assuring a successful launch and a highly successful first year.
The choice of personnel, perhaps the most important choice (because 'people are policy'), never proceeds according to plan, but there have been some successful transitions that upheld high standards.
If it is widely assumed that the new President cannot move forward simply because of a narrow victory, there can easily develop a sense of unease and uncertainty, adversely affecting every sector of American society, our economy and the perception of other nations.
The Reagan Administration, generally regarded as having conducted the most successful Transition of modern times, had managed during the election campaign to build bridges to the Democrats in some areas, notably foreign and national security policy.
Our system provides for a winner to take office on January 20th, and he is expected to take command of the ship of state. Failure to do so, characterized by hesitation and indecision, will harm the national interest.
Usually, those persons closest to the incoming President will be the main leaders of the Transition effort. They are most familiar with his policies and practices, and are able to interpret his wishes regarding the structure and staffing of the new Administration.