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It’s one affair to be adopted President of the U.S. Acquirements how to do the job usually takes longer
A Presidential handoff comes with accustomed rites and rituals, some political, others personal, all a admeasurement of the weight abode bottomward on the ascent baton of the chargeless world: a affair (or meetings) amid admission and approachable Presidents, a acme for their lieutenants and Cabinet officers, that aboriginal glimpse into the abstruse compartments of civic aegis and the alarming threats abounding, the bout of the active abode by the Aboriginal Ladies, a babble about the kids. Eight years ago, aback George W. Bush hosted a White House acceptable cafeteria for President-elect Barack Obama and all the active aloft Presidents, some of the allocution was about the abridgement and al-Qaeda, but abundant was about how you accession a ancestors in the world’s best agitated fishbowl. These sessions aren’t appropriate by law, but everyone seems to acknowledge the help.
Since Donald Trump’s chase for the White House was one long, looping detour from convention, it’s accustomed that the final lap has veered off alley as well. Alike veterans acquisitive to admonition him accretion themselves challenged not aloof by his benightedness with the bureau of Washington but additionally by his alienation to them. Whether it’s his antipathy of intelligence analysts, his ambit from his party’s agenda, his Twitter ache of corporations or his advancing and diversionary Jan. 11 columnist conference, aggregate about the Trump alteration has activated the accouterment of ability and protocol. This suggests that the weeks to appear will blot a abrupt acquirements ambit not aloof for the new Commander in Arch but for the blow of us as well. In his adieu abode on Jan. 10, Obama had to stop and quiet those in his army who booed his affiance to ensure a bland alteration of ability to Trump. He alleged the cooperation a “hallmark of our democracy,” active added than his disagreements with the man who will alter him. “Just as President Bush did for me,” Obama said.
In the pages that follow, veterans of the Obama White House action their own admonition to the admission team—including some of the best admonition they got from the abandonment Bush aggregation eight years ago. They awning everything from appropriate what’s important from what’s alone urgent, to managing your health, arrive the computers and abyssal the White House blend (closed amid 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., so alternate your coffee runs). It’s abnormal to move into a new workspace with about 100% turnover, with the admission aggregation aloof affair one accession for the aboriginal time beneath the ablaze blaze of the international spotlight.
There is no admiration the appulse any of this will accept on the accomplishments and attitude of a anew inaugurated President Trump. Alike he has apparent some abruptness at adopting his new identity, starting with his Oval Appointment affair with Obama two canicule afterwards his victory. “I will acquaint you, I actually admired him, I anticipate he admired me,” Trump told TIME a few weeks later. “I anticipate he was afraid also. There was acceptable chemistry.”
That this followed a barbarous attack in which he had alleged Obama “the affliction President” and Obama alleged Trump “unfit to serve” is not actually unusual, anticipation from accomplished presidential handoffs. On the one hand, Obama has attempt to avert in the face of an admission President who has vowed to amputate Obamacare, barter treaties and ecology guardrails. It recalls Ronald Reagan acclimation Jimmy Carter’s solar panels removed from the roof, or John F. Kennedy dismantling Eisenhower’s national-security structure. Any outgoing President is alert of his legacy. Any new President arrives cerebration he knows better, with millions of votes—even if not a majority—in his abridged to assert his faculty of mission.
But Obama additionally leaves appointment all too acquainted of the burdens that are about to about-face from his shoulders. Eight years ago, at that accretion of Presidents, George W. Bush had said to him, “We appetite you to succeed.” At that moment, affair no best mattered. “All of us who accept served in this appointment accept that the appointment transcends the individual.”
Obama has accustomed that attitude in his conversations in actuality and by buzz with Trump. “The basic affair that I’ve approved to abode is that there’s a aberration amid administering and campaigning, so that what he has to acknowledge is as anon as you airing into this office afterwards you’ve been affidavit in, you’re now in allegation of the bigger alignment on earth,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “You can’t administer it the way you would administer a ancestors business.”
That Trump had never captivated constituent appointment of any affectionate accepted a cogent asset to him throughout the campaign: no voting almanac to abode him, few political debts to repay, no addiction of speaking afterwards adage something. But there is little antecedent for Washington generally—and the White House particularly—to blot such an alien, and generally actively hostile, outsider. The abutting alongside is Eisenhower demography over from Harry Truman in 1953, additionally his aboriginal time in constituent office. But Ike had spent years abyssal the abstruse warrens of the basic in his role as Supreme Allied Commander and Army Arch of Staff.
Truman absurd aloof how adamantine Eisenhower’s change would be. “He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And annihilation will happen,” Truman observed. “Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll accretion it absolute frustrating.” Or as Trump ability put it in a tweet—“SAD!” Obama’s acquaintance afore the Oval Appointment was additionally attenuate by avant-garde standards—three agreement in the Illinois accompaniment senate, about four years in D.C. But he entered appointment with one advantage over Trump: a 68% approval appraisement in January 2009, compared with Trump’s 43%.
Trump will accretion the abode appealing able-bodied belted in. It’s a absolute irony that the baton of the chargeless apple has adored little claimed freedom. At 18 acres, the White House circuitous is one acre aloft than Mar-a-Lago, but aegis makes it feel smaller. Hillary Clinton could accept told him how as Aboriginal Adult she acclimated to blooper out of the White House in beard and booty continued walks with a abandoned Abstruse Anniversary agent, up Connecticut Avenue to the Civic Zoo, aloof to escape. These are barrio breadth alike the debris isn’t so abundant calm as sorted because about everything, every record, memo, email, is adored for posterity. Which bureau that a man who avoids computers and still conceals his tax allotment will alive in a apple breadth accuracy is categorical into law.
It may about-face out that Trump never actually settles into Washington and spends abundant of his appellation commuting from Palm Beach or cardinal from his Fifth Avenue Olympus, bottomward into Washington for accompaniment visits and such a few canicule a week. He has already approved his alertness to accommodate with Congress in abounding view, via 140-character bursts.
“I bethink what it was like aback I came in eight years ago,” Obama said afterwards his affair with Trump. “It is a big challenge. This appointment is bigger than any one person, and that’s why ensuring a bland alteration is so important. It’s not article that the Constitution actually requires, but it is one of those norms that are basic to a activity democracy, agnate to norms of amenity and altruism and a allegation to acumen and facts and analysis.”At a time of abysmal analysis and disagreement, the nation can booty abundance that this accurate accumulation spirit persists, as the afterward pages attest. Let’s achievement it’s contagious.
Eighteen accepted and aloft Obama aides action words of admonition for their Trump Administration replacements
By Michael Scherer, Zeke J. Miller and Philip Elliott
PFEIFFER: Best bodies don’t accept how the absolute handover of ability works. We all sit in the freezing cold. We watch the final acme of years of accomplishment to see our acquaintance and bang-up become President of the United States. Afresh for the arch team, you get on a bus and they booty you to the White House. They bead you off, and accession shows you your office. You airing in and there’s a computer there with a Post-it agenda with your password, and you’re in allegation of the government. Abounding stop.
EARNEST: You actually don’t apperceive how annihilation works. At the night afterwards the additional abounding day, the President and Aboriginal Adult hosted a agents affair for bodies who had formed on the transition, the attack and the Inaugural Committee. I absent about the absolute affair because I was still in the Lower Columnist Appointment accession out how the abutting day we were activity to accelerate a video articulation to the anniversary address.
PSAKI: None of us knew breadth the bath was. I still didn’t apperceive there was one on the aboriginal attic until apparently the additional year I was here. It may accept been the aboriginal day, aback the President came out of the Oval and absolved over into the Upper Columnist breadth to see Robert Gibbs in the columnist secretary’s office, and a cardinal of reporters were alive out. He said, “Oh wait, they can appear over here?” He wasn’t acquainted of how aggregate was set up.
VIETOR: For the communications team, abnormally the agents in Lower Press, you apprehend that you’re basically activity to be alive central the White House columnist corps’ newsroom. The briefing-room aperture is about consistently open. It’s adamantine to accept a arcane babble aback there are a dozen reporters continuing in your office. But ultimately this is a acceptable thing. Dealing with reporters contiguous will beforehand to bigger relationships. You’ll bigger accept anniversary added as animal beings.
BROWN: I bethink the President, by accident, walking into my appointment on Day Two, because he didn’t alike apperceive his way about yet.
ABRAHAM: You watch depictions of the architecture in TV or movies, and one notable TV appearance in particular. There are these long, ambagious conversations over continued hallways. You get in the architecture and it’s actually appealing small, appealing crowded. You can’t actually say abundant added than your name and breadth you’re from afore you hit a door.
FURMAN:In agreement of accession out who would be in what office, we looked at the attic plan, and we had a plan to put both of Civic Economic Council administrator Larry Summers’ calm assembly in the West Wing. Afresh we actually got to the West Wing, looked about and apparent that one of the two apartment we had anticipation was an appointment was actually a antechamber to the women’s bathroom. That accurate basement adjustment concluded up not surviving.
DEESE: For the aboriginal brace of days, I was actually clearing in a alley in the additional attic of the West Wing.
FURMAN: We additionally saw that people’s names were taped to the doors. There was a abrupt moment aback the offices appropriate aloft the anteroom from ours looked a lot bigger than ours, and we anticipation maybe we would aloof move the taped names and see if we could get abroad with it. But we absitively that that apparently wouldn’t be the best way to ingratiate ourselves with our new colleagues.
MCCORMICK LELYVELD: We got to the White House, and the Aboriginal Adult alleged us all into the East Room. There in a big amphitheater was the citizen staff, ushers, chefs and pastry chefs, and abounding added aggregation members. She said, “This is the aggregation I came in with,” apropos to us. “This is the aggregation that’s in abode here, and they’re in allegation now. They apperceive the ins and outs. They apperceive the history. It’s our albatross to adjourn to them and ask them questions and chase their leadership.” We actually aloof affectionate of went in concentric circles breadth we went in one administration to accost everybody and formed about the room.
PHILLIPS: Abutting your eyes and brainstorm the concrete amplitude at the campaign—one behemothic room. Desks and bodies accommodating throughout the day. Fast-forward to the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Appointment Building. It is a alternation of compartments. It’s about like a catacomb. What we concluded up accomplishing was actually demography our team, we started about 12 or 13, and jamming them all into ample rooms, so we could affectionate of carbon the acquaintance from the campaign.
JARRETT: We had a computer on our desk. We didn’t accept laptops, we didn’t accept iPads, we didn’t accept iPhones, and we had about a bisected a bar of service. So if you brought in your own equipment, you couldn’t use it. And that was surprising. I actually did anticipate the architecture would be state-of-the-art, and it was not. It was a big albatross to our capability aboriginal on.
KEENAN: We had Compaqs active Windows 98 or 2000. No laptops. It was like we had gone aback in time.
PHILLIPS: All the accoutrement you acclimated to use—whether that’s babble or Google Docs or wi-fi—are no best available. It’s like a time apparatus aback to array of a pre-social-media, postcomputer moment, breadth you aloof assignment on email.
EARNEST: The stakes are actually high. You may anamnesis that in the aboriginal brace of months, there was a day aback our email arrangement chock-full functioning. This was arrangement news. It was aloof a admonition to anybody in our appointment that bodies are advantageous absolute abutting absorption to how able-bodied things are running. There’s a lot of burden to authenticate to the attainable that you’re up to the task, alike admitting you are actually affairs the levers of article while you’re still aggravating to bulk out how it works.
ABRAHAM: You’re actually aimlessly attractive at the guy abutting to you, like, “Hey Gary, how the heck does the printer work? Does anyone accept any abstraction how to adjustment food? Does anyone accept any idea?”
RHODES: You apprehend that it’s aloof the bodies in those offices. There is cipher abroad there. You are responsible. I bethink actuality afflicted at first, but afresh I had the abutting accent to address and the abutting affair to go to. You affectionate of activate to assignment your way into the job.
PFEIFFER: I anticipate the best important allotment of admonition that I would accord anyone who’s entering the White House afterwards confined on a acceptable presidential attack is that campaigns are AA baseball, and the White House is the aloft leagues. You’re not as acute as you anticipate you are. Pitches appear faster. Be as apprehensive as you possibly can, because you’re activity to apprentice appealing bound that the stakes are altered and the complication of the decisionmaking is different. Alike admitting you apperceive that activity in you’ve apparent The West Wing, until you get there and apprehend the after-effects of the things accident about you, it’s appealing adamantine to fathom.
EMANUEL: I acclimated to acquaint this to Clinton, but I additionally acclimated to say it to President Obama: “If we all knew, in the aboriginal year of the aboriginal term, what we knew by the aboriginal year of the additional term, we’d be geniuses.” There’s a acquirements curve. It’s aloof new.
SUTPHEN: The arduous consequence of the affair set bureau that you never accept abundant time in the day. My affairs were about in 20-minute increments starting at 8 o’clock and activity until 7:30 at night. At the beginning, I acclimated to book myself absolute deeply during the day. But afresh I bound realized, if you do accept a crisis, it assault up your accomplished day. It’s a little bit like Amtrak. The alternation can be delayed, and afresh they alpha canceling. It has this bottomward aftereffect if you’re not careful. I created a little bit of allowance in the morning, aloof afterwards the meetings, to try to anniversary for things that may accept happened overnight.
BROWN: Over time alive with the President, I abstruse there are a agglomeration of accepted things he didn’t actually accept to sign. I could use the autopen, but I bare to assignment with him so that he knew I was never appliance my ascendancy aloft my bounds. I never capital to do annihilation afterwards his consent. It turns out that there are a agglomeration of accepted things that already you said, “O.K., here’s a brazier of things,” he can say, “That’s fine, you do that,” or, “Here are things that I never anytime appetite to autopen.” I begin it was actually accepted sense.
PHILLIPS: We congenital all of WhiteHouse.gov afore Inauguration Day. We congenital this behemothic site, and we approved to bulk out all the things that we would charge and put it out there. Afresh on Day One, we started seeing that some of these sections weren’t absorbing at all to people. Avoid overpreparing in agreement of content. Put article simple out there and pay absorption to what bodies affliction about, and afresh beforehand agreeable adjoin that.
LILLIE: My aboriginal allotment of admonition to Trump Administration advisers is to booty a bout of the White House. So aback the columnist secretary asks you to accompany the columnist to the Map Room, or to accommodated at the Palm Allowance door, you actually apperceive breadth the hell you’re going. The night that the President took the adjuration of appointment the additional time during that aboriginal week, Gibbs looked at me and said, “I charge you to grab the book pool. Accompany them to the Map Room.” I was like, “O.K. Where’s the Map Room?” I actually aloof opened the aperture to the room, and there was the President and Arch Justice John Roberts. I thought, O.K., I assumption I’m in the appropriate place.
ABRAHAM: I aloof bethink giving one of my aboriginal White House tours, and it was to a woman I was dating at the time and her friends. Things were so active that I hadn’t had time to abstraction the bout route. I was so acutely botching the facts that this absolute merciful uniformed Abstruse Anniversary abettor aloof chock-full me and gave me a look, like, Hey, you charge some help, and array of rescued me.
PFEIFFER: There was a accent that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner gave rolling out how we were activity to accord with the cyberbanking crisis that acquired our banal markets to bore as it was happening. A breach awning of Tim giving his speech, and the Dow tanking, was a active real-world lesson. Aback you assignment on Capitol Hill, or alike in a campaign, and you blend article up in messaging or rollout, it’s fine. Maybe you accept a bad brace of canicule in the press, maybe your bang-up yells at you, but you don’t see billions of dollars of abundance dematerialization afore your eyes on alive television. In hindsight, you bound apprentice that it actually makes added faculty to accomplish those announcements afterwards the bazaar is closed.
EMANUEL: It takes a while to acclimatize to the actuality that aback you say article for the President of the United States, there’s no bulge that says aggregate that you can about-face down. It’s consistently at aggregate 10. Always. It’s the bigger microphone in the world. That takes adjusting to.
ABRAHAM: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed. It was activity to be the aboriginal bill that the President signed, and my bang-up at the time told us at our agents affair that we were activity to do a signing ceremony. Anybody was excited. Afterwards a brace seconds, my associate and I looked at anniversary added and our expressions boring afflicted from action to the ability that no one yet knew how to do the little stuff. How do you bright guests into the building? How do you assets the appropriate room? Breadth do you get the pens? Who stands where?
MCCORMICK LELYVELD: The job is added aegis than it is breach because you’re demography affliction of the ancestors and the clandestine life. There isn’t a careful columnist basin for the Aboriginal Lady. What we bent was, if it’s a account of the accouchement at a attainable event, it’s fair game, or if it’s a account that has their ancestor in the frame. That was aboriginal activated in a photo with Sasha active bottomward the brace afterwards a Marine One landing. She was active to see her dad. It was a admonition that the White House is an office, a home and a museum. They alive aloft the store, so to speak. The photo ran in several book organizations. I captivated a alternation of conversations with the photo editors and anniversary editors and talked it through, reminded them of the rules. It never happened again.
BROWN: You’re in this absurd place, and you appetite to admit what an account and advantage it is to be there. At the aforementioned time, you can’t be so abashed by actuality there that you don’t accord your best honest advice. Sometimes as a lawyer, that bureau finer adage no. “I actually don’t anticipate this is a acceptable idea.” Or, “I actually don’t anticipate you should do it that way, but here’s what you can do.” Don’t aloof be a yes person. That does not serve the office. History has apparent this. Ultimately, it does not alike serve the individual, but it actually doesn’t serve the institution.
EMANUEL: The best important affair you can do is acquaint the President that you’re activity to admonition him do his job. Like I consistently acclimated to acquaint everybody, you can’t go in there and acquaint him a problem. You better action him a minimum of two solutions. Your job is not to bandy problems at him and see if he can figure out the solution.
RHODES: I adulation to watch Homeland and The Americans as abundant as anybody else, but you accretion yourself watching it with this affectionate of appropriate eye breadth you anticipate to yourself, How is this actuality accepting this babble on a corpuscle phone? How is this actuality able to accompany their buzz into a defended alive space? How did this actuality get into this facility? You accretion yourself as affectionate of an ambassador accepted of the screenwriting for those shows.
ABRAHAM: If the President travels, you’ve got to accept a absolute bound action for authoritative abiding that bounded adopted admiral apperceive he’s activity to be entering to their accompaniment or district. I bethink on one of his aboriginal trips, I didn’t apprehend that it was my job to acquaint the bounded member. We hadn’t actually developed a accepted operating action yet. The bounded affiliate basically accursed him, accursed the White House in the columnist for not absolution him apperceive that we were headed to town. It was a assignment aboriginal on in my tenure. You get that world-is-ending feeling, and you’re about to bandy up. Allotment of accepting added acclimatized is you apprehend you’re activity to accept a few of those. You’ve aloof got to abbreviate the number.
BROWN: Bodies on the attack are acclimated to accepting actual admission to the candidate. That doesn’t appear anymore. You can’t accept anybody abnormality into the Oval Appointment and accepting the President’s ear. It aloof gets absolute disorganized, and you can’t administer it. You charge to set in abode processes for whatever the set of issues is.
SUTPHEN: I acclimated to be a big fan of agitation lists, but the agitation account actually took too abundant time. Because I absolute rarely was able to blemish things off the agitation account aback I did do the agitation list, I begin it a absolute dissatisfying exercise. I affectionate of chock-full accomplishing it.
BROWN: We beatific arch agents bright templates for how a announcement to the President should be written, how a conference announcement for an accident that the President’s activity to be accomplishing the abutting day should be written. If you anticipate about it, if you’re the President and you alpha accepting actuality in a gazillion altered formats, you can’t accomplish arch or appendage of it.
FURMAN: There were times in 2009 aback we didn’t accede on the abstruse architecture of a small-business-lending program. Because we couldn’t boldness it ourselves, we brought that altercation to the President. In retrospect, it’s appealing awkward that we were aggravation him with capacity as babyish as that. Big altercation on aesthetics on how to accord with autos? Accompany that to a President. Should you do a 10% or 15% analogous bulk for your new tax acclaim for such-and-such? Apparently account accession that out on your own.
BROWN: You action this affiliated action of bodies aggravating to go about you. There were canicule I acquainted like a schoolteacher, you know, rapping somebody’s knuckles. If it’s done right, bodies acknowledge it, because they can get larboard out too. What goes about comes around. Your job is to be an honest broker. To tee up decisions in a fair, counterbalanced fashion. You shouldn’t be putting a deride on the scale. Bodies do charge to assurance that.
ABRAHAM: I bethink sitting in the East Wing aboriginal on aback we all heard a loud babble that none of us were accustomed with. Accumulate in mind, I had never apparent Marine One land, and I’m not abiding I had anytime been about a helicopter. I had actually not yet been in a assignment ambience breadth it was accustomed for a advancing helicopter to acreage aural aural of my desk. Afterwards we accomplished what the heck was activity on, we all ran to a window to try to bolt a glimpse.
DEESE: It wasn’t until I came over here, and we had been actuality in government for several months, that I accomplished aloof how little we knew. I anticipate that annihilation can adapt you.
PFEIFFER: There are a lot of actually acceptable bodies at the White House who will admonition you bulk out things like how to alive your day-to-day. Bodies assignment in the mess, and the career advisers in the White House are abundantly attainable to people.
KEENAN: Fortunately, the teleprompter guys are military, so they apperceive what they’re doing, but yes, consistently be nice to the prompters. You’re activity to await on bodies a lot added than you think. I could not do it afterwards our actuality checkers and my researchers. Be nice to everybody. They’ll save your butts from time to time.
ABRAHAM: Affections can get high. It’s actually important to bethink to aloof be a acceptable person, a nice actuality to the bodies about you, bodies you disagree with in debate, bodies you assignment with on a circadian basis. My claimed acceptance is that the architecture functions best aback there’s a absolute appearance of aloof actuality appropriate to the bodies who assignment about you.
MCCORMICK LELYVELD: There are cultural sensitivities that appear artlessly to the chefs because of their training. So if we’re hosting accession from accession country, what are the comestible concerns? What are the acclaimed foods? What are the cultural pieces reflected in cuisine that accomplish the appointment on the akin that the White House should be?
PHILLIPS: I got an email in aboriginal December 2008 from two civilian agents at GSA who wrote a white cardboard to the admission Obama Administration. I concluded up account one of the women who wrote it. She accomplished me what a detail was, which is basically that you can appeal that accession bureau lends you a actuality for six months. So she wrote her own detail, and I got her to appear assignment at the White House. Afresh she helped me alpha account added bodies in, and she accomplished me about procurement. She accomplished me about acquisition, and a few months afterwards our appointment had its own budget.
RHODES: For me, it’s been the adopted service. The apple has afflicted a ton in the aftermost 15 years, and bodies who’ve had to be out at embassies, compassionate the constraints of added countries’ backroom and added trends, generally accept a abundant bigger feel for what is attainable and what is not than commentators in Washington. The government is abounding of bodies who accept to face absoluteness as it is every distinct day in every country in the world.
KEENAN: It wasn’t appropriate at the start, but I bethink the aboriginal time I flew with the President on Marine One. You still appetite to do your job, abnormally aback you’re about him, so I was acknowledging to emails. He aloof affectionate of put his duke on my arm and said, “Hey, put that bottomward and attending out the window. This is appealing special.” That’s article I’ve approved to do all along.
RHODES: You’re never as aerial as you feel or as low as you feel at any accustomed time. Alike aback you’re at the everyman point, aback everybody’s criticizing you, this is still the President of the United States and the White House. Alike aback you are on top of the apple and everybody’s talking about how abundant you are, the apple is still a complicated abode that’s activity to bandy curveballs at you. You accept to accept that faculty that every aeon you go through will pass.
PSAKI: On the canicule that you feel annoyed or annoyed or frustrated, one of the best cures is to booty the airing from the West Wing on the brace through the East Wing and out the added aperture of the building. It actually gives you a moment of meditation. The brace is, of course, the airing abutting to the Rose Garden that the President takes home at night. I don’t anticipate bodies apperceive that the White House agents can airing that airing too. You airing into the East Wing, breadth there are all the admirable apartment and barrio and all this history. I ambition I would accept accepted that from the aboriginal day, but I abstruse it appealing aboriginal on.
PFEIFFER: All of the Bush bodies were abundantly attainable and nice. One of the best pieces of admonition that I abstruse was that one of the best important things you will do is accumulate your eye on your BlackBerry at all times. Abundant of decisionmaking is done by email chain, and if you absence the alpha of the chain, it could go off in a abhorrent administration appealing quick. You absorb the blow of the day aggravating to disentangle all the decisions that were made.
RHODES: You anticipate you accept all the time in the world. Abnormally aback you’re at the alpha of the Administration, you’re advancing in and you’re on top of the world. But you are antagonism adjoin the alarm from the absolute aboriginal day.
JARRETT: Acquirements the accent of time administration is one of the hardest things about actuality here, because every minute you’re accomplishing one thing, you’re not accomplishing article else. And let’s face it, the account are finite. It becomes alike added acutely bright as we get abutting to the end. And so I anticipate the President would apparently say he now makes decisions faster, added calmly than he did in the beginning.
ABRAHAM: One of the abundant things about alive at the White House is that you can alarm aloft a actually advanced ambit of bodies for admonition and guidance. You’ve aloof got to be proactive, and you’ve got to be advised about it.
VIETOR: Bush’s Civic Aegis Council agent Gordon Johndroe wisely encouraged me to beforehand for admission to affairs about acute advancing or counterterrorism operations, alike if there is no plan to anytime altercate them publicly. His point was that because of advances in technology, it’s added acceptable than anytime that these operations become public, and you’re far bigger positioned to administer the adventure and assure acute admonition if you’re abreast advanced of time. He was right.
FURMAN: I spent time accepting to apperceive a cardinal of key Republican staffers. They weren’t badly important to what we were accomplishing in 2009 and 2010. As it angry out, Republicans chose not to cooperate. But afresh those relationships actually paid off in allowance us get things done in 2010 on taxes, in 2012 on taxes and some of the budgetary issues we were negotiating. Somebody may not bulk today, but things change bound in Washington.
VIETOR: Get to apperceive the Situation Allowance staff. Accompany them snacks. They’re activity to be an admonition buoy aback things get crazy, and they’re nice, ablaze bodies from aloft the advancing and intelligence community. Also, they accord alarming Sit Allowance tours if you’re nice.
KEENAN: There were a brace of added pieces of admonition from the President. He’s consistently told us, Address what feels true. Aback we aboriginal came in, he asked the correspondents’ office, as I’m abiding you know, to accord him 10 belletrist a day. He told us to apprehend these too. Accumulate affiliated to the bodies that beatific them. Consistently bethink why.
WiNTER: One of the beauties of the Aboriginal Adult position is you accomplish it what feels appropriate and is accurate to you. She never acquainted like she had to be article added than who she was. Do what you like. Do what you love. Do what’s absorbing to you, because I anticipate association apperceive what is inauthentic. There charge be a actor photos of Michelle Obama out there, and if you attending aback I would acquaint you three-fourths of them are of her animated with kids, because that’s actually what makes her happy.
JARRETT: Absorb added time alfresco of Washington. There’s aloof no acting for not aloof interacting with the American people, as we do actuality every day, but affair them breadth they are. Not alone is it attainable to acquaint our policies, but it additionally aloof is a abundant admonition of the dust and assurance and animation of the American people.
FURMAN: If you’re in the Trump Administration and you alarm a Democratic-leaning anticipate catchbasin to get admonition about some problem, they’re activity to booty your call. They may go out and criticize what you do, but maybe what you’ll do will be a little bit better. The American Enterprise Institute has an anniversary retreat, and 97% of the bodies there are Republicans. I go every year. If there’s some agnate retreat of Democrats, I would actually admonish my breed to go to it. You apprentice that not aggregate we anticipate is right.
EMANUEL: Alert a day I would airing the halls and go put my arch in somebody’s office. My aphorism as arch of agents was, the aperture is consistently open. I ability acquaint you article you don’t appetite me to say aback you airing in, but the aperture is consistently attainable to appear in and say something. You’ve got to accept that attitude. You can’t abutting the door. You can’t exclude.
LILLIE: There are consistently bodies all, array of, ambuscade in the White House. One day I was hasty to get from the basin aerosol on the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll to a affair in the Situation Allowance about a adopted trip, and there was this accumulation of bodies who were aloof walking so boring on the colonnade. I was aloof affectionate of impatiently waiting, and all of a abrupt one of them turns about and I apprehend it’s Justin Bieber. And I thought, Breadth am I? I aloof charge to get to the Situation Allowance for my cruise call, and Justin Bieber and his associates are slowing me down. So aloof consistently apprehend the unexpected.
RHODES: One of the absorbing bodies I talked to over the years in this job is Caroline Kennedy. She has reflected a lot on her father’s admiral and the faculty that he had actually hit a stride breadth he acquainted like he knew what administration he capital to go and knew what admonition to put aside. I feel analogously with President Obama. He came to actually absorb the appointment and get added absolute in some spaces, demography a accident or dupe his own judgment. Actuality accommodating to booty a adventitious and to access into an alien and to be accommodating to be criticized. That is what ultimately leads to the best advantageous outcomes.
JARRETT: There is one affair I additionally do every distinct morning, and I’ve done it for about eight years now, starting on January 20th of 2009. I met a guy on the attack aisle in Austin, Texas, aback in the primary season, aboriginal in 2008. He was operating the elevator for us, and he asked the President if he could accord him something, a application from his advancing uniform. The admirer said to the President, “I’ve agitated this application with me every day for 40 years, and it has kept me able and been with me through some boxy times.” And I anticipation it was such an absurd act of altruistic generosity that I fabricated up my apperception that I would anticipate of him every morning aback I drive through the gates of the White House, aloof for a few seconds, and that that would admonish me why we’re here. It helps me accord with the toxicity of Washington.
RHODES: You can accretion a acumen to break at assignment all night, every night here. There is consistently activity to be article to do. You are never activity to bright out your inbox. You are never activity to acknowledgment every buzz call. You are never activity to apprehend every cardboard that you could. Ultimately, if you do that, you’ll be worse at your job. Not alone will your ancestors activity suffer, but you will lose some perspective.
DEESE: You accept to accomplish a absolute acquainted accomplishment to ability out, to allocution and collaborate with and acquaint with bodies alfresco of the balloon that you are entering. The acuteness is so aerial that you can calmly go for weeks or months afterwards absolute allusive acquaintance outside. That puts you in a position breadth you won’t do your job as well. It can additionally put you in a position breadth you are sacrificing relationships and bodies that bulk in a way that you’re afire the candle bottomward to the end.
PFEIFFER: It is a suboptimal action breadth you assignment your ass off for two years on a campaign, are actually exhausted, and the award-winning you get is a abundant harder job that additionally keeps you abroad from your ancestors and accompany that could aftermost anywhere from four to eight years, depending on how continued you appetite to do it. If I attending back, I bethink weddings of absolute abutting accompany I had missed, not seeing my family, like my parents and my brother, for about the absolute aboriginal year. I didn’t booty a vacation of added than a day or so from the day we absolved in the White House until April 2010.
KEENAN: Your lives are no best your own. I mean, if you plan a date with somebody, if you accept a weekend planned, a wedding, none of that is castigation anymore. Work-life antithesis doesn’t exist.
RHODES: Some colleagues absolute abundant focused on activity home at 5 p.m. one night during the week. For me, I didn’t assignment on Sundays unless I actually had to. I approved to go home and eat banquet every night that I could.
PSAKI: Afterwards I had a baby, I capital the day affliction to consistently be able to ability me. I gave them my assistant’s buzz number, because I’m generally in affairs breadth I can’t accompany my phone. There are things like that that are not that complicated but you accept to do in adjustment to be attainable to your admired ones.
RHODES: Negotiating day-care drop-offs and pickups takes some precedence. I did accept a cardinal my wife could alarm if I bare to get to day care, or there was an emergency. There is affectionate of a red phone. You apperceive there’s a achievability that you were activity to absence a affair that you never would accept absent otherwise. Afterwards you accept a kid, that happens.
EMANUEL: I acclimated to joke, “The White House was family-friendly—to the Aboriginal Family.” The added affair I acclimated to antic in the White House was, “Thank God it’s Friday. Two added workdays till Monday.” I acclimated to carve out Friday nights for Sabbath. I wasn’t actually great, because I still backward on the phone, and afresh Saturday or Sunday we’d consistently booty a half-day as a ancestors to do trips around. We went to Gettysburg, added battlefields. I can be affiliated by phone, try to do article with my family, but it’s brutal. There’s no way you don’t booty that job home with you.
FURMAN: They now accept a children’s-access list. If you accept a adolescent beneath the age of, I think, 14, you don’t charge to abandon them in in advance. Aback then, they didn’t accept that. I bethink one weekend, I got article on a Saturday that appropriate application my computer. I was at one of the museums with my 2-year-old. I appear to the White House with my 2-year-old and I say, “I charge to appear in to use my computer,” and they won’t let him in.
PFEIFFER: Afterwards we anesthetized the Affordable Affliction Act, we were sitting in Rahm Emanuel’s office. I’ve done annihilation abroad but assignment on bloom affliction for, like, nine months. Anybody is now afraid about the admonition about implementation, and how we’re activity to handle that, and what am I activity to do. I, like, airtight at David Axelrod in a appealing advancing way, which I would not commonly do. He’s not accession who engenders that array of behavior, and he aloof looked at me, like, “Brother, man, you assume appealing frayed at the edges.” I was like, “I’ve got to go on vacation.”
SCHULMAN: Nitro coffee at the blend is a accurate revelation. It’s a adumbration that will serve the abutting Administration well.
DEESE: As somebody who is a approved customer of coffee, there is a window amid 2 and 3 p.m. that the blend is closed. Best days, you don’t lift your arch up to anticipate about accepting cafeteria or a cup of coffee till 2:05. I feel like I end up best canicule in the asleep area amid 2 and 3 p.m. You appetite to plan your day to not get bent in the asleep zone.
KEENAN: Wednesday is Taco Wednesday at Ike’s in the Eisenhower Executive Appointment Building, and Thursday is taco day in the mess. I’ll apparently get in agitation for this: chips and queso are not on the blend menu, but if you ask for it, they will accomplish it for you.
RHODES: In accession to not accepting your buzz for continued stretches of time, there are some times that you’re absolute busy, but you can’t acquaint anybody why. I bethink in the ages arch up to the bin Laden raid, there were diffuse workdays on the weekends or nights aback you couldn’t actually say what you were alive on or why you weren’t activity to be at home. That is a aberrant feeling. You apperceive why you’re unavailable, but you can’t actually explain to bodies why you can’t accomplish it to this banquet or you can’t be available. That happens a fair bulk in civic security. Your wife gets acclimated to it, and the bodies in your activity get acclimated to it.
SUTPHEN: My advice, which I didn’t chase the aboriginal time I was in the White House, is to accompany the gym. Because the aggregate of sitting basically all day, the stress, three commons a day at the White House blend is aloof a compound for actuality super-unhealthy.
JARRETT: I accept brunch every Sunday with the aforementioned accumulation of friends. Relatives or accompany who I’ve accepted in some cases my accomplished life, all of them at atomic 25 years, continued afore any of this happened. The ritual of seeing the aforementioned bodies every Sunday for brunch, and afresh I accept banquet best Sundays with my ancestors who lives here—I accretion that helps. We don’t allocution about work, we allocution about what accustomed bodies allocution about, and that allows me to bolt my breath. Whenever we are all in town, that brunch and banquet are sacrosanct.
LILLIE: I did every all-embracing cruise alert during the aboriginal 2½ years of the Administration. It’s a lot of miles. Bodies generally ask me breadth my admired abode was that I traveled. It’s so difficult for me, because my adventures are not real-life experiences. My acquaintance is you go to Moscow and you’re central the Kremlin. I’ve been central 10 Downing and Buckingham Palace.
PSAKI: The President attack with three planes, so it is absolute difficult to alike and for bodies to break in abutting blow and actually for everybody to accept all of the admonition they need.
LILLIE: What I consistently acquaint my beforehand staffers is that a lot of times you are the abutting accession will anytime get to the President. Your behavior and what you do could wind up on the advanced folio of the New York Times. It reflects on him and on this Administration, at every point. Whether you’re at a bar in Washington, D.C., or overseas. You additionally still charge to accept fun and alive your life, but I anticipate it’s important to bethink that you can’t anytime about-face that off.VIETOR: It’s not aloof that bodies ability admit you. It’s that D.C. is abounding with bodies who will actively try to aching you, so be alert of talking about assignment in public. You will accordingly be overheard.
WINTER: The accession that the Aboriginal Ancestors accustomed around anywhere they went in the apple was consistently so overwhelmingly positive. Some places they actually would aloof band the streets, in a way that you’re thinking, Don’t these bodies accept to go aback to work? There was this activity at some credibility that the Aboriginal Adult was like a all-around superstar. But you apperceive what? A lot of these trips, we had Malia and Sasha and Grandma with us. We’d go aback to the auberge and we’d be asking, “What do the kids appetite for dinner?”
PFEIFFER: The one affair I’ve abstruse in my post–White House activity is that your anatomy and apperception and affections will acclimatize to that lifestyle. You accept a new normal. The akin of accent and burnout that I lived with for six years in the White House. I’ll attending aback on it and anticipate it’s insane.
LILLIE: You charge article to admonition you sleep. Ambien is not the way to go. It lasts eight hours. You will not get eight hours. Sonata—I feel like I am accomplishing an ad for a biologic company—Sonata was my lifesaver, because it alone actually lasts four hours and it’s out of your system, so it’s absolute for even rides, for nights aback you’re not accepting added than four hours of sleep.
RHODES: On the 2009 cruise to Moscow, I was a speechwriter at that time. Aback then, aback the President would leave and go to all of his meetings, I would break at the auberge and assignment in the staff’s workspace. It was the average of the day. I was alive in the agents office, and I went aback to my allowance to get something, and the charwoman adult was there and there were three guys in apparel activity through all my actuality or accomplishing things in the room. As anon as I absolved in, they put aggregate bottomward and absolved out of the allowance afterwards adage anything.
LILLIE: In one country, I got to my auberge room, I was aloof so tired, aloof accessible to canyon out. I bandy my BlackBerry bottomward on the bedside table and it starts authoritative the babble that it makes aback you put it abutting to an attainable mike. I was like, “All right, I assumption there’s that!” You never apperceive what you’re activity to find. You aloof get acclimated to it.
VIETOR: There’ll be times you feel absolutely overwhelmed, afflicted and beneath siege. The hours can be barbarous and the stakes are high. But as balked as you ability feel in the moment, apperceive that you’re activity to absence the job aback you’re gone. You get to be a allotment of article that’s bigger than yourself. The bodies you assignment with will be constant friends. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Savor it.
JARRETT: I anticipate one of the pieces of admonition that I accustomed was that the canicule aftermost forever, but the weeks, months and years fly by. And that is very, absolute true. Every distinct day I think, Goodness, that day lasted forever. And I cannot accept I’ve been actuality about two weeks shy of eight years.
EMANUEL: If you anytime drive into the gates of the White House and you still don’t accept a creep in your back of how appropriate this is, it’s time to leave. Alike in the darkest moments and the toughest slog-throughs, it’s special. I mean, it’s activity to be tough, there’s no agnosticism and admonition on that, but if you don’t still accept a creep that this is special, afresh it’s time to go.
LILLIE: I acclimated to airing up to the White House aboideau sometimes and apprehend them not to let me in. Because it’s aloof that amazing alive there. The affair is that one day they won’t let you in. That happens to everyone.
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